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Two non-military individuals killed in ongoing northern Myanmar conflict – Radio Free Asia

Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army and junta troops in northern Myanmar left two residents dead, locals told Radio Free Asia on Friday.

On Thursday morning, the Kachin Independence Army and other local resistance militias raided a police station and the three infantry battalions stationed in Mongmit, locals said. Junta troops soon retaliated by land and air, they added.

Fighting flared up again Friday morning after a brief respite, residents said, with battles intensifying near the town’s center.

The junta’s airstrikes continued into Friday afternoon, one local told RFA, declining to be named for security reasons.

“[The junta] is still firing now from a fighter jet. We had to hide in basements,” he said. “Now, there’s fighting near the police station and the market.”

The jet dropped six bombs on Friday morning, he added.

Airstrikes were particularly heavy on Thursday, with at least 10 bombs damaging some residents’ homes, locals said.

A 37-year-old man named Si Thu was killed by a bomb blast, they said. Another man in his 40s died of apparent heart failure.

Three others were injured, they added.

Because of the ongoing attack, families and aid organizations have not been able to collect the bodies, one resident said.

“One of the four injured in yesterday’s airstrike has died. Another pedestrian died after suffering a heart attack caused by the sound of explosions,” they said, declining to be named for fear of reprisals. “We have not moved their bodies yet. No one can go out.”

Most of the village’s 10,000 residents have fled to nearby villages, he added. Residents told RFA that junta troops are strictly inspecting civilians fleeing through the city’s exits.

Myanmar’s regime has not released any information about the fighting in Mongmit. RFA contacted Shan state junta spokesperson Khun Thein Maung and the Kachin Independence Army’s information officer Col. Naw Bu for comment, but neither answered by the time of publication on Friday.

Clashes between the Kachin Independence Army and junta troops have persisted since Monday in Kutkai and Mongmit townships.

The KIA is not part of the alliance of ethnic armies that agreed a ceasefire with the junta on Jan. 11 in several townships across Shan state. That China-brokered ceasefire has already faltered with the Three Brotherhood Alliance claiming the junta launched airstrikes on Mongmit and two other townships in the northern state on Sunday

The alliance also announced in a press release Wednesday that one of its members, the Myanmar Democratic National Alliance Army, had retaliated after the junta fired grenades at its troops.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

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