Community leaders from the Christian ethnic Kachin community are calling for urgent medical attention for about 2,000 civilians, including pregnant women and the elderly, trapped in the jungle to which they fled to escape clashes between the Myanmar's army and the Kachin guerrillas in the country's north.

The current round of fighting in Kachin state's Tanai region began in early April when the government launched an offensive with shelling and airstrikes in response to threats by the rebel Kachin Independence Army to retake territory it had lost.

The Rev. Mung Dan, a Baptist community leader, said Wednesday the civilians trapped without medicine or sufficient food include five pregnant women, two women who just gave birth, 93 old people, and other villagers wounded by mortar shelling.