Couple killed in KIA-Burmese army clash

Couple killed in KIA-Burmese army clash

Three local residents were killed and five others injured in Mansi Township, Kachin State, where fighting erupted between Burmese government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on Wednesday 23 September, according to local aid workers in the area.

Tamaw Nor Mai, a Kachin Baptist Church member and IDP camp coordinator in Mansi Township told DVB that two of the deceased were husband and wife.

The couple were killed in the area between Mongkong and Manwainglay villages on Wednesday afternoon, and the third is believed to have been in the same location.

“A clash broke out between Mongkong and Manwainglay villages around 5pm after Burmese troops from Bhamo district arrived in the area. The husband and wife were travelling to the town on a motorbike to sell goods,” Tamaw Nor Mai said.

“At the time, I was also on my way to Bhamo but turned back after hearing gunfire. The deceased couple stopped at the village of Pangsat before Mongkong and were warned by a village official to turn back, but they went ahead.”

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He added that the bodies remained at an army outpost as of Wednesday morning.

Around 6.30pm on Thursday, the Burmese army allegedly fired 40mm artillery rounds in the direction of Kawnglein village, also in Mansi, leaving a two-year-old child and an elderly woman with shrapnel wounds.

“I went to check on them [on Thursday] – the child had sustained a serious injury below the collar bone, and was sent to Bhamo hospital. The woman was hit in her arm. She is being treated at home as her injury was not very serious,” Tamaw Nor Mai said, and added that gunfire can still be heard close to Mongkong village as of Friday morning, causing panic among local residents.

Tamaw Nor Mai reported that the conflict had resumed between the army and KIA after the ethnic forces detained three individuals, under suspicion of acting as informants during Burmese army’s crackdown on drug dealers.

Both the Burmese army and the KIA were unavailable for comment.

Read more about the KIA here.

Read more about the ongoing peace process.

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