Myanmar Army Overruns KIA Outposts in N. Shan State

By Chit Min Tun 25 April 2019

YANGON—The Myanmar Army (or Tatmadaw) said Tuesday it had taken control of some Kachin Independence Army (KIA) outposts in Muse District in northern Shan State.

The Tatmadaw True News Information Team’s Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun said the Army counter-attacked after the KIA launched assaults on military units from outposts it built near a Tatmadaw base in Muse District’s Mongpaw-Mongya. He added that several KIA outposts were occupied on Monday and Tuesday.

“[KIA troops] attacked Tatmadaw [troops] engaged in non-military activities at the base, and also built outposts. They launched sneak attacks and mine attacks on military units after Thingyan [which ended on April 17]. So, we resumed our military operations and were able to take control of seven or eight of their temporary outposts,” the brigadier-general told The Irrawaddy.

The Irrawaddy was not able to contact KIA officials for comment. However, the Kachin News Group (KNG) reported on Wednesday that the Tatmadaw occupied the headquarters of Battalion 36 under the KIA’s Brigade 6 near the village of Mong Baw.

The KNG quoted an officer from the KIA’s Brigade 6 as saying that KIA Battalion 36 had been forced to abandon all the outposts and that government troops were now deployed in old Howa village, where the outposts were based, and in Ting Sa Kawng and Wudang Bum, where the battalion commander had been based. The Brigade 6 officer spoke to the KNG on condition of anonymity.

Lamai Khun Ja, a member of the Peace-Talk Creation Group, a Myitkyina-based group that brokers peace talks between the KIA and the government, told The Irrawaddy that he had heard about the raid on the KIA outposts, but could not independently confirm it.

“I heard the news, but I don’t know if the KIA has confirmed it,” he said.

On April 11 last year, fierce clashes broke out between the KIA and the Tatmadaw in Awng Lawt in Tanai village. The following month, the KIA’s Brigade 2 and Battalion 14 were forced to withdraw from their headquarters.