Post 17 December 2012
A Mi-8 helicopter with plumes of smoke bellowing out of it, belonging to the Burma Army was damaged considerably after being shot at by the KIA on Friday.
Senior officials with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) claim that a Mi-8 helicopter belonging to the army was damaged considerably after being shot at by the KIA on Friday. The Russian built helicopter was last seen heading in the direction of Myitkyina with plumes of smoke bellowing out of it after having receiving sustained fire from KIA troops on the ground in Lajayang.
Reports that the helicopter crashed while en route to the Kachin State capital have yet to be verified. The helicopter was one of five used on Friday by the Burma army to attack KIA positions in Lajayang, located some 5 miles away from Laiza, the KIA's de facto headquarters. Using large calibre guns the helicopters pounded KIA positions in Lajayang repeatedly throughout the day.
Fighting was particularly heavy on Friday in and around a Buddhist temple in Lajayang. Reached by phone a KIA officer stationed at the frontline said that more than 50 Burma army soldiers died in battle. Two soldiers from the KIA also died, while three others were seriously injured, the officer said.
The fighting began early Friday morning when a large column of government troops attempted to resupply their comrades at Lung Rawk, a government controlled post near Lajayang that is completely surrounded by the KIA. Fierce resistance from the KIA eventually forced the army to call of its resupply mission.