Burmese fighter jets reportedly bombed military positions of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern Burma no less than five times on Sunday afternoon while representatives of the Kachin rebels met with government delegates for peace talks in Rangoon.
La Nan, spokesperson of the KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), told DVB on Sunday that Kachin outposts in Mansi Township between the villages of Madan Yang and Kai Hteik were bombed by two fighter jets at 3:15pm on 22 March following an armed clash nearby the day before.
“We are yet to receive a casualty report but we have been informed that the Burmese air force struck at least five times,” he said.
The military clash in Mansi, southern Kachin State, broke out on Saturday evening and continued throughout Sunday. La Nan claimed it is a persistent tactic of government forces to use excessive fire power on enemy outposts, even positions of no strategic advantage, as a form of retaliation when suffering high casualties on the ground.
He said the KIA has informed the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), which represents the main ethnic armed groups at ceasefire talks, about the incident.
Vice chief of staff of the KIA Gen. Gun Maw last week was in Rangoon for the most recent round of ceasefire talks between the NCCT and the government’s Union Peace-Making Work Committee. A recess has been called on the talks until 30 March after an apparently successful six-day session, during which accord was reached on a number of outstanding issues that have prevented progress in the past.