Three civilians have been reported killed as fighting continued in Mansi Township, Bhamo District, Kachin State between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

U Da Maung Naw from the Kachin Baptist Convention and also an official from the Mai Khaung IDP camp said he had learnt that three civilians in Naryawady Quarter in Mansi had died but he did not know the causes of death.

“As far as I know, on my way back from Bhamo on the night of 23 September, I arrived at Nam Phakha Stream and I heard a bomb explosion, so I turned back,” U Da Maung Naw told Mizzima. “On my way in the early morning of September 24, I saw a dead body covered by a raincoat. A military officer asked us where we came from, so I answered that we were from Mai Khaung.”

Although a community leader of Pansat Village told a couple travelling to Mai Khaung not to continue because the security situation was bad, the couple ignored the suggestion, according to U Da Maung Naw. The couple and another civilian died, he said. But he did not know whether the people were shot by government forces or they were killed by a bomb.

Major John Aung, Commanding Officer from KIA battalion 12, said that fighting broke out between government forces and KIA troops near the area of KIA’s battalion 12 and 27 in Mansi on 23September, and KIAmines had caused government casualties so government forces retaliated and killed the civilians.

“When the government was reinforcing its military presence between Mai Khaung and Man Wain, we laid mines, and it is reported that five of them [Government forces] were killed and three were injured. So, they felt angry and shot dead a Myanmar couple [Kyaw Min Khaing and Kyar Shwe Myint] who were riding a motorcycle from Naryawady.” he said.

U Da Maung Naw said fighting between the government and KIA began on September 15, and a total of 263 people from villages in the area under the control of KIA battalion 12 had fled to Mai Khaung IDP camp.

http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/three-civilians-killed-during-fighting-mansi-township