Fighting Between KIA and Junta Forces Intensifies in northern Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 14 May 2021

Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military regime has intensified in Mansi Township, Kachin State after the junta reinforced its troops in the area.

Clashes have been going on in Mansi Township for three days. On Thursday, the junta twice launched airstrikes against Madan Yang village, where the fighting has been taking place.

The fierce fighting comes after the KIA launched an attack on Tuesday against regime troops in an attempt to seize a base on a major road connecting Mansi with Namkham in northern Shan State.

KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu said that the KIA had to try and seize the base because more junta troops have deployed there. The clashes have intensified since early morning Friday, he added.

Local residents claimed that by Friday morning the KIA had already seized a junta outpost near Madan Yang village. But Col Naw Bu said that he was unable to confirm the exact situation on the ground because of poor communications.

Myanmar military troops have been deployed at Madan Yang village since 2013, when they forcibly drove around 2,000 villagers away from their homes.

A blast also took place on Wednesday around 11am at the General Administration Department office in Momauk Township, injuring four staff members.

Fighting was also reported in Momauk Township near the Alaw Bum base on Friday morning. The KIA seized the strategic Alaw Bum base close to the border with China from regime forces in late March.

The military has since launched several airstrikes to try and recapture the base from the KIA. However, the KIA still occupies the base and over a hundred regime soldiers, including a battalion commander, have been killed during the heavy fighting.

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