The Irrawaddyhas obtained recent video footage of the intensifying conflict in northern Burma between ethnic Kachin rebels and the Burmese government army. Fighting in the region has intensified since December and the Burmese army has been using Russian-made MI-24 helicopter gunships and jet fighters to launch airstrikes on rebel positions.
In the 4-minute video, recorded in early January, Kachin Independence Army (KIA) fighters are involved in heavy fighting with Burmese soldiers in the mountains near Laiza, on the Burma-China border, where the rebels’ headquarters is located.
The footage shows KIA rebels shooting from dug-in mountain top positions. Many seem worn out by the battle and carry old weaponry. At one point, the rebels find the body of a killed government soldier, who is unceremoniously tossed off the mountain side.
Government helicopter gunships and fighter jets fly over head and launch rocket attacks on rebel positions.
The KIA rebels also display weapons that they captured from government soldiers and talk about the airstrikes that they have had to endure.