Over 30 Myanmar military soldiers, including a captain, were reportedly killed on Monday during several clashes with a combined force of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and People’s Defense Forces in Kachin State’s Mohnyin Township.
Firefights with junta troops were reported near Nam Mar Village, near Mohnyin University, and close to the bus terminal in Mohnyin Town, as well as in Si Thar Village in Shwegu Township, according to locals.
Myanmar’s parallel National Unity Government’s (NUG) Ministry of Defense said in their daily briefing that at least 20 junta troops were killed and many injured in the battle at Mohnyin’s Nam Mar Village. A junta vehicle was also destroyed.
Another 12 junta soldiers were confirmed dead during a guerrilla attack on Monday night against junta forces stationed near Mohnyin University, said a resident.
“At least 32 junta troops were reported dead on Monday in Mohnyin shootouts. The body of the dead captain was cremated quickly,” said the source who requested anonymity.
However, seven resistance fighters were also killed, according to the NUG.
KIA spokesperson Colonel Naw Bu confirmed the fighting but declined to state the number of casualties on both sides.
“We are still gathering information [about casualties]. We heard the injured [junta soldiers] were sent to Mohnyin Hospital, but we can’t confirm numbers yet,” he told The Irrawaddy.
Col. Naw Bu said that resistance forces clashed with more than 100 junta troops on their way to reinforce Mohnyin Town.
The KIA has been involved in increased fighting with the military regime since last year’s February coup.
In March 2021, the KIA clashed with junta troops as it could not stand by as civilians were killed in the regime’s brutal crackdowns. In the years immediately prior to the military takeover, the KIA had mostly maintained a defensive posture.
Fighting is expected to intensify in Kachin State and nearby Sagaing Region due to frequent reinforcement of junta forces in the area and resupply of weapons and food, according to Col. Naw Bu.
Junta troops and KIA fighters are currently locked in a standoff in Sum Pi Yang in Kachin’s Putao, Myanmar’s northernmost township. Military tensions have been rising in Putao since December. Last week, Sum Pi Yang residents were displaced by regime airstrikes.
This month, the KIA and junta forces have also clashed often in Mansi, in the east of Bhamo Township, added Col. Naw Bu.
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