China limited the hours for crossing at its key border gate at Laiza, the capital of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), beginning July 22, after the Burmese Army fired mortar rounds at KIO positions in the area, residents said.
Residents of the KIO capital have been prohibited from crossing into the Chinese-controlled area of Laiza by Chinese border authorities between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., according to Laiza residents.
The Burmese Army’s Dawhpumyang-based Infantry Battalion No. 142 fired about 20 rounds from 120 mm mortars at the Alaw Bum-based Kachin Independence Army (KIA)’s Battalion No. 24, near Laiza, on July 22 between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Laiza residents believe China is trying to block the movement of Burmese refugees into its territories by limiting the hours of crossing at the border gate.
Both Burmese and Chinese citizens in Laiza have been fleeing to Chinese territory after the mortar fire by Burmese troops, said witnesses.
Over 16,000 refugees have fled to KIO areas near the China border in eastern Kachin State because of the escalation of the two-month old civil war.
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