Myanmar Military Takes Heavy Casualties in Kachin State Fighting

By The Irrawaddy 7 May 2021

The Myanmar military has reportedly suffered further heavy casualties during fierce clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in multiple locations across Kachin State on Thursday.

Fighting between the KIA and the regime’s soldiers has intensified in Momauk, Mohnyin, Bhamo and Waimaw Townships since last week.

KIA Information Officer Colonel Naw Bu claimed that the KIA witnessed more than 30 soldiers killed and 80 seriously injured after regime fighter jets mistakenly dropped bombs and fired guns at their own troops in Momauk Township.

There have been several air raids in Momauk Township since mid-March, after the KIA seized a strategic hilltop base in Alaw Bum near the border with China from the Myanmar military.

Col. Naw Bu said that more than 200 junta troops were injured and several killed in other clashes in three locations in Mohnyin, Shwegu and Momauk Townships on Thursday.

However, Col. Naw Bu did not reveal the KIA’s casualty figures.

The KIA attacked a military convoy in Mohnyin Township with remote mines, resulting in dozens of regime troops being injured. Two ships carrying reinforcements and supplies for regime soldiers in Shwegu Township were also attacked by the KIA on Thursday night.

“Many troops were injured and some of them were killed during the attack,” Col. Naw Bu said.

Myanmar’s Office of the Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services had not made any announcements relating to the fighting in Kachin State as of Friday afternoon.

Since Friday morning, there has been renewed fighting in the Salaung Kone and Alaw Bum areas in Momauk Township, the KIA said.

Clashes between the KIA and regime troops in Kachin and northern Shan states have intensified since the junta killed two anti-coup protesters in the Kachin capital Myitkyina in March. Soon after the junta’s coup, the KIA refused to recognize the military regime and warned it not to harm anti-coup protesters in Kachin State.

Subsequently, the KIA seized a strategic base in Montauk Township and stormed more than a dozen military and police outposts in Kachin State’s Waimaw, Momauk, Hpakant, Tanai, Mogaung, Shwegu and Injangyang townships. It has also threatened to step up its attacks if the junta continues to shoot peaceful protesters across the country.

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