Muse, BURMA — Four Burma army soldiers were killed and another was injured last Friday following a battle with forces loyal to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in northern Shan State, a local KIO official claimed.
The 45-minute battle which occurred near Pangsai, also called Kyukok, on the Muse to Munggu (Mongkoe) road involved members of the KIO affiliated civilian defense force known as the People's Army or Mungshawa Hpyen Hpung (MHH) in Kachin and the Burmese military’s Infantry Battalion No. 69, an MHH official told the Kachin News Group.
According to the MHH official who wished to remain anonymous, the fighting ended when the Burmese military column retreated to Mungbaw. Before fleeing the retreating soldiers buried three of their comrades in shallow graves near the battle ground. A fourth soldier reportedly later died in the Pangsai hospital the MHH officer said. Kachin resistance forces suffered no serious injuries during the fighting the officer claimed.
After the army troops retreated Kachin resistance members seized several items left behind including aproximatley100 bullets, several Bazooka rounds, four grenades and 60,000 Kyat (US$69), the MHH officer said.
Members of the army's IB No. 69 were responsible for the summary execution on June 1 of Galau Bawm Yaw, a local villager from Yi Hku, a friend of the deceased farmer told the Kachin News Group. Over the weekend, the same military unit is believed to have abducted a village headmen and his assistant from Dung Waw, located near Pangsai villagers, KNG has learned.
Thousands of government troops from 70 battalions are currently deployed in northern Shan State, home to the 4th Brigade of the KIO's armed wing, an official at the group's Laiza headquarters said.
In Shan state the majority of the fighting has occurred in KIA territory in Mandong, Namtu, Nam Hkam, Kutkai and Muse township all places where the Shwe's gas projects twin pipelines are slated to pass. When completed the twin gas pipelines will transport oil and natural gas from the Arakan coast to China’s Yunnan province.