By Nang Mya Nadi
A truck driver was killed and three other people were injured on 3 December when a Burmese Army convoy passing through Shadusoot village in Kachin state’s Hpakant township opened fire on the area after being ambushed by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
According to the chairman of a local charity Win Bo, the Burmese military convoy from Light Infantry Division 88 were transporting supplies from Kachin state’s capital Myitkyina when they were ambushed by the KIA.
The convoy later passed through Shadusoot village around noon on Monday and fired shots hitting and killing 48-year-old truck driver Kun Htet Naw in apparent retaliation for the earlier assault hatched by rebel forces.
“The LID-88’s convoy shot at the truck, killing 48-year-old Kun Htet Naw. A woman named Htay Kyi, 58, was also hit by a bullet, which entered her right buttock and exited from the left. A six-year-old student was also shot in the thigh,” said Win Bo adding that three people were sent to the hospital in Myitkyina.
Fighting between the Burmese Army and the KIA reached Hpakant township in late August this year, leading thousands of residents from villages in the area to flee into the town for safety.
In September, there were an estimated 30 refugee camps providing aid to more than 9,000 displaced people in Hpakant.
Residents in the area along with members of civil society organisations and religious groups sent a petition to President Thein Sein earlier in the year calling for an end to fighting in the region.
According to a KIA source familiar with the situation, the Burmese military has approximately 30 battalions stationed in the area known for producing some of the world’s highest quality jade as the two sides battle for control over the resource-rich area.
After a 17-year ceasefire crumbled in June 2011, fighting has intensified in Burma’s northernmost state, displacing about 100,000 people in the area. The UN is still barred from providing aid to residents in the restive region as residents brace for the cold season.