Schoolteacher wounded by artillery as clashes continue near Hpakant

Schoolteacher wounded by artillery as clashes continue near Hpakant

A teacher was injured by a blast when artillery shells landed in a school compound in Hpakant on Monday, as Burmese government forces continued to clash with the Kachin Independence Army around the jade-rich town in in central Kachin State.

Bauk Ja, the Kachin State chairperson of the National Democratic Force political party, said that fierce fighting between government troops and Kachin rebels was continuing on Monday near the village of Namya in Hpakant Township. She said that amid the small arms fire and artillery shelling from both sides, some stray shells landed in the compound of Namya Basic Education Middle School, where a teacher was injured from the explosion.

“The Tatmadaw [Burmese armed forces] and Kachin forces fought on Sunday and Monday – the gunfire can still be heard along the road to Hpakant from the village,” she told DVB on Monday afternoon. “Local residents informed us that stray artillery shells, apparently fired from a position in the cemetery outside of Namya, landed in the school compound, wounding the teacher.”

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She added: “At the moment, we are unable to find out more about the incident as all phone lines and transportation routes have been cut off. The road between Hpakant and Namya has been closed, as is the road to Mogaung.”

According to Bauk Ja, an estimated 1,000 persons have fled their villages due to this most recent fighting, and they are in need of food and shelter.

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