Myanmar Junta Police Wounded in KIA Attack

By The Irrawaddy 24 June 2021

Two junta police were injured on Wednesday night when ethnic armed group the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked a checkpoint just outside Myitkyina, the Kachin State capital.

Troops from the KIA’s Brigade 5 attacked the checkpoint at Balaminhtin Bridge, which links Myitkyina and Waingmaw townships, around 7.40pm. The KIA said its fighters withdrew after attacking for around 15 minutes.

There are security outposts on both sides of the bridge. The checkpoint attacked on Wednesday is on the Waingmaw side near Mong Nar village-tract. The checkpoint along with an office is collectively run by military personnel, police, immigration and customs officials.

“Two policemen at the checkpoint were injured and are receiving treatment probably at the military hospital. We heard they would tighten security at the office and the checkpoint. We are concerned that the regime will harm the people in retaliation instead of the KIA,” said a resident of Mong Nar village-tract.

Following the KIA’s attack, the military regime shelled areas around Mong Nar village-tract, as well as Laiza and Mai Ja Yang, which are under KIA control, and KIA outposts in Hpakant.

Junta troops blocked the road after the attack until 7am Thursday and searched passers-by as it re-opened the road. Locals told The Irrawaddy at noon that they saw the office at the checkpoint closed.

Clashes between Myanmar’s military and the KIA have intensified since early March, after junta forces shot dead two anti-regime protesters in Myitkyitna despite the KIA warning them not to harm pro-democracy protesters in Kachin State.

Since then, the KIA has attacked military and police outposts in a number of Kachin State townships, including Hpakant, Injangyang, Shwegu, Momauk, Mansi, Tanai and Putao.

The armed group has publicly claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying it is striking at the military and police because they are harming the people.

Civilian resistance fighters operating as People’s Defense Forces (PDF) under the parallel National Unity Government have also taken up arms against the regime in some Kachin State townships.

The regime has been searching for young people who have received military training and are working to form PDF’s in their respective townships. Over 60 young people have been arrested by the junta in Myitkyina, Waingmaw, Mohnyin, Putao and Nawngmun townships.

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