Thursday, December 8, 2011

Many Burmese soldiers killed during week long offensive in Wuhtau Bum area

Reports from the frontline indicate that the Burmese army suffered significant losses in the Wuhtau Bum area, home to the headquarters of the KIA’s Battalion No. 3. Reached by phone KIA officers in Wuhtau Bum claim their forces have strongly resisted the government's advance in the area, which is located in the Kachin Independence Army's Brigade No. 5.

A Kachin resident in Sadung, a village presently under the control of KIA Battalion No. 3 told the Kachin News Group on Thursday that over 100 government soldiers from the newly arrived Kalaw-based Light Infantry Division (LID) No. 55 were killed and dozens more wounded in the last 24 hours.

He said that earlier in the week many more soldiers from the Magway-based Light Infantry Division No. 88 were killed in the same area, he estimated that at least 200 hundred Burmese soldiers had been killed in the area during the past week. Several soldiers from Kachin militia groups loyal to Naypyidaw were also among the dead, the villager added.
wuhtaubum-engOver 30 military horses from the Burmese Army were seized during the past week, according to officers from the KIA’s Battalion 3.

KIA officials say that their use of guerrilla tactics have resulted in few losses for their side. Both the KIA and the Burmese army have used small arms and artillery against each other, forcing many civilians to flee for safety.

Last month representatives of President Thein Sein’s nominally civilian government and the KIO met twice for talks which have so far failed bring about a halt to the fighting. The Burmese army continues to send in troops to the area, leading many to conclude that Naypyidaw wants to bring about a military solution to the conflict.

This story was compiled by our correspondent in the Kachin state capital of Myitkyina.


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