War in the 'green hell' of Myanmar
President Thein Sein proclaimed before the UN last week that his government places a high priority on ending ethnic conflicts, but that has proved elusive in ruggedly beautiful Kachin state, where the race to exploit abundant natural resources feeds a growing humanitarian crisis
A series of thundering explosions late in the night of June 9 last year woke up Labang Hkwan Tawng, a stout woman in her sixties, and her grandson while they were sleeping in Sang Grang, a tiny village of no more than 60 households in Kachin state.
BATTLE HARDENED: KIA soldiers wait on the top of a truck for their transfer to another place along the front around Laja Yang village on the outskirts of Laiza last month.
Instinctively, she knew what was going on. After a tense ceasefire that had lasted 17 years, the Myanmar military and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had resumed hostilities in the northern region.
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