One of Myanmar’s major ethnic armed resistance groups, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and local People’s Defense Forces in Kachin State’s Putao, Mohnyin and Hpakant attacked at least five junta military bases and a police station this week, showing unwavering armed resistance against the country’s military regime, whose grip on power turned one year old on Tuesday.
The attacks against junta bases occurred in six locations in Mohnyin, Hpakant and Myitkyina on Thursday and three locations in Putao on Tuesday, but KIA spokesman Colonel Naw Bu said they only occupied about three of them and destroyed and abandoned the other locations.
The KIA’s involvement in the fighting shows its “persistent stand with the people in their fight against the military dictatorship,” said Col. Naw Bu.
“If the military regime keeps on enforcing its military approach, the fighting will continue. The police stations and militia groups are all under military control and serving the junta, not the people, and [instead] harassing the people,” the spokesman said.
Early Thursday morning, KIA and PDF troops attacked and destroyed the police station in Mohnyin’s Mawhan Village. Around that time, the combined force also attacked a junta army base; Jaya Yang in Lone Khin Village, Hpakant, a jade town; and a military outpost on the Myitkyina-Sumprabum road.
The KIA’s Battalion No. 35—under Brigade 8—and PDFs attacked the junta-controlled police post at 3 a.m. in Mawhan, completing the attack before dawn, said Col. Naw Bu. U Saw from the Mohnyin Revolution group said an army officer and a policeman died in Mawhan. Col. Naw Bu could not confirm the reported deaths and other captures, however.
“Casualties are inevitable in any clashes, but we haven’t received such reports from the ground troops yet,” Col. Naw Bu told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.
On Feb. 1, a year after the coup, the KIA and PDF forces jointly attacked and occupied military bases in Sum Pium and Long Sha Yang in Putao Township.
The Putao-PDF said they captured a junta soldier, but the KIA could not confirm it.
Pictures posted by the Putao-PDF show seized junta MA assault rifles, Energa grenades, magazines and bulletproof vests.
The KIA and PDFs also attacked junta troops between Putao’s Sum Pium Village and the border of Sumprabum Township in early January.
The attacks against the Myanmar regime troops on the coup’s anniversary shows that opposition to the regime is still going strong.
More than 400 clashes occurred between the KIA and junta troops in Kachin and northern Shan states over the past year, Col. Naw Bu said.
However, the KIA did not occupy all the military bases it attacked and seized. One exception was the strategic hilltop Alaw Bum base, which is near the group’s headquarters in Laiza in Kachin State’s Waingmaw Township and has been occupied since March last year.
Also on Tuesday, KIA Brigade 8 troops attacked the junta’s Infantry Battalion No. 241 in Kutkai Township, northern Shan State.
The junta responded with artillery shelling, which injured a man belonging to a local relief association, a Kutkai resident told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
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