A convoy of the Myanmar Red Cross Society came under fire by rebel troops on Tuesday as it was traveling near Laukkai, the administrative capital of Kokang Special Region 1, where insurgents have been in conflict with the Burma Army for more than a week.
The convoy, which was carrying MRCS staff and at least two journalists, was attacked while driving between Laukkai and Chin Shwe Haw after an aid mission in the devastated township.
The fleet of seven vehicles was transporting more than 100 displaced persons from Laukkai to Lashio. They were attacked around 2pm. One truck was struck by gunfire. The bullet came from atop a nearby hill to the vehicle’s left, a witness said.
The vehicles were clearly marked with MRCS insignia. Some of trucks in the convoy were blue, which the witness said indicated that they were not Burma Army vehicles as they are typically green.
Two members of the convoy were injured during five minutes of fire. Both survived and were transported to Kunlong General Hospital for medical treatment after the convoy spent 30 minutes hiding in a street-side gutter, according to Irrawaddy photographer JPaing, who was traveling with the convoy.
Prior to the attack, an army convoy headed to Laukkai clashed with Kokang rebels near Chin Shwe Haw.
Since fighting began between the Burma Army and an ethnic rebel group called the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) on Feb. 9, dozens have died and tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced, many spilling over the nearby border into Yunnan, China.
This article was updated on Feb. 17, 2015, at 8:30 pm, to add new details and clarify that the injured were taken to Kunlong, not to Chin Shwe Haw as previously reported.