By The Myanmar junta’s military has launched a major operation against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in a bid to recapture an outpost in Lailum Aungja Village near Laiza Township, Kachin State, which the ethnic army seized and occupied on Saturday, according to local residents and KIA sources.
The KIA seized the outpost, located across Laiza Creek from Nam San Yang Village near the KIA headquarters in Laiza, at around 8 a.m. on Saturday. About five dozen junta military troops were stationed at the base when it was seized.
“We started launching an attack on one of their outposts in that area by firing artillery and launching drones. Then, most of the junta troops moved to another outpost,” said KIA spokesperson Colonel Naw Bu.
Aside from the one seized by the KIA in Lailum Aungja, the junta military has two other outposts in the area.
“Since we seized it, they have been sending in jet fighters and dropping bombs on Nam San Yang and around the Aungja villages at least seven or eight times a day up to today,” Naw Bu said.
The KIA still has control of the outpost. The Myitkyina-Bhamo Road remains shut down, as long stretches of it have become battlefields.
“Clashes started breaking out at around 8 a.m., and they fired artillery shells at each other,” said a 53-year-old ethnic Kachin man who fled Nam San Yang in July.
Right after the KIA seized the outpost, two junta jet fighters arrived and bombed and strafed the forested area with automatic gunfire in a bid to kill the KIA troops, said a KIA source.
“The jet fighters dropped bombs, then they came back again and dropped more bombs. We have not yet been able to get detailed casualty figures,” he said.
The junta military has continued to send reinforcements into the area as it attempts to seize back the outpost in Aungja Village.
Additional clashes between junta military troops and KIA forces broke out in at least three locations on the Bhamo-Myitkyina road today.
The junta has continued to deploy troops across the river, while its aircraft have dropped at least three bombs on Nam San Yang, according to KIA officers.
According to a statement released on Sept. 7 by the Ministry of Defense under the National Unity Government, at least 135 junta military outposts have been seized by People’s Defense Force groups and allied ethnic armed groups.
The KIA said it seized two Myanmar junta outposts and one held by the regime-allied Shan Nationalities Army (SNA) in Hpakant Township, Kachin State on Monday. The KIA attacked the outposts on Mount Kathaing and at Nam Hmaw Village, and the SNA position near a bridge in Sal Zin Village in Myanmar’s jade-mining hub, KIA spokesman Colonel Naw Bu said.