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Civilians Flee as Burma Army Closes in on Hpakant

22 August 2012

Around 500 civilians have fled from a village near the Hpakant jade-mining district of Kachin State as Burmese government forces move closer to territory controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), according to the Kachin News Group. Residents of the village of Maw Mau Bum reached the nearby town of Hpakant on Sunday and have since taken shelter there at local Catholic and Baptist churches. Although there have been no recent clashes near Maw Mau Bum, the village is strategically important to the KIA, which has reported a growing Burmese army presence in the area.