MI24 Burma Army helicopter gunship firing rockets in a Kachin State offensive Decmeber 2012 (Photo: FBR)

Burma Army Uses Jets Against Kachin and Wounded KIA Soldiers Claim Government Forces Using Chemicals in Attacks

The Free Burma Rangers, a frontline humanitarian organization, released a report detailing the recent use of jet fighters by the Burma Army against the Kachin Independent Army.

The FBR said that on October 7 “two Burma Army fighter jets dropped four bombs on Gidon Post” while Burma Army ground troops “advanced on Gidon Post, but they were pushed back by the KIA defense.”

FBR said that on “October 6 the Burma Army shelled Gidon Post more than 50 times with 120mm mortars. Some of the mortars emitted black smoke and some emitted white smoke.

On October 06 Burma Army reinforcements arrived near Gidon Post. The reinforcements come from Military Operations Command (MOC) 1, MOC2, MOC3, Division (DIV) 33 & 77.”

The FBR pointed out that the Burma Army also attempted to use helicopters in the conflict area until bad weather forced them to leave.

The FBR said that the week leading up to the use of jet fighters against the KIA on the 4th October the “Burma Army 5th Brigade 1st Battalion fired on Gidon Bum Post 20 times with mortars.

The FBR detailed that on the morning of October 3 government forces continued its attack on Gidon Post and by “11am four Burma Army soldiers and three KIA soldier had been killed, and multiple KIA soldiers wounded in the fighting.”

The FBR noted that Kachin soldiers claimed that the use of chemicals by the Burma Army. According to the FBR report the “KIA wounded soldiers reported chemical poisoning and experienced unusual dizziness and drowsiness on the battlefield.”

The fighting in Kachin State between government forces and the KIA has displaced tens of thousands of people and comes as Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD government is trying to kick start peace talks with ethnic armed groups.

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