Yangon—The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked a police station in Kyaukgyi village-tract in Shwegu Township, Kachin State, about 3 a.m. Wednesday. A spokesman for the Kachin ethnic armed group said the attack was carried out because police are involved in lethal crackdowns on anti-military regime protesters.
“We have attacked police stations and outposts of people’s militias because the area [Kyaukgyi] is quite [militarily] strategic. People’s militias and police there also go to the frontline and are also involved in killing civilians in the cities. All of them are part of Tatmadaw (Myanmar military) and it is difficult for us to differentiate [them from military personnel]. So we attacked [the police outpost],” said KIA information officer Naw Bu.
Details from the ground are still unknown, said Col. Naw Bu, due to communication problems. He did not confirm reports that KIA troops seized ammunition and food stocks from the police station.
An employee of Shwegu Township General Administration Department said, “Kayukgyi Village is far from Shwegu town. The attack took place in a remote area. As we don’t have access to mobile data services here, we only knew about the clash about noon. Most of the civil servants are striking here and in the case of police, there are only senior police officers still working.”
A police officer was reportedly injured in the KIA’s attack. The Irrawaddy was not able to independently confirm the report. The Irrawaddy was also unable to reach the Shwegu Township police force for comment.
According to the organizational structure of Myanmar’s police force, village-tract level police stations and police outposts have 6 to 18 members.
More than 400 government employees, including policemen, are participating in the civil disobedience movement (CDM) in Shwegu. According to the information gathered by The Irrawaddy, at least 40 police have joined the CDM in Kachin State and some have sought refuge in KIA-controlled areas for fear of arrest.
The KIA has refused to recognize the military regime and has carried out attacks on Myanmar military outposts since March 11. The armed group also carried out an artillery attack on a police outpost in jade land, Hpakant, on March 18.
In response, the military returned artillery fire, and carried out airstrikes on KIA battalions 11 and 14 in Namti and Tanai townships on Monday.
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