Around 200 junta troops including a battalion commander were reportedly killed within three days during a series of intense clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hpakant Township, Kachin State, according to local residents and media outlets.
The fierce fights between military regime forces and the KIA occurred near Kat Hmaw Village in Hpakant from Thursday, according to the local residents and news outlets based in Kachin State.
“There were fierce clashes amid continuous rain. A junta battalion commander died in the fighting. More than 200 junta soldiers died in three days. The clashes continue,” a source close to the KIA told The Irrawaddy.
Sources said the People’s Defense Force (PDF) had joined the KIA’s battalions in the fight against the regime’s forces.
After sustaining heavy losses, the junta launched indiscriminate airstrikes against KIA troops and civilian targets in the area while airlifting in reinforcements on Saturday, according to local media.
“The junta used its air force to bomb [the area] on Saturday. Before the airstrike, a battalion commander died in the attacks by the KIA and PDF,” a local resident told The Irrawaddy.
Many regime soldiers who were airlifted into the area on Saturday were also killed in clashes on the same day, local media reported.
Video footage shows military reinforcements being airlifted in on helicopters and a jet fighter attacking ground targets.
Two civilians were also killed and two others seriously injured when a military jet fighter and a helicopter gunship indiscriminately attacked Kat Hmaw Village on Saturday. Some houses were destroyed in the junta air strikes.
On Friday, the junta also used two jet fighters and a helicopter gunship to attack KIA troops in the area.
At 4 a.m. on Monday morning, a shootout occurred in Phankharkone Village, Bamaw Township when an unknown group attacked a junta police outpost in the village, said Kachinwaves, a local media outlet.
Additionally, an intense clash between 300 junta troops and a combined KIA/PDF force broke out near Lonsharyan Village in Putao Township on Monday morning, according to the media outlet.
Currently, the military regime is facing intense attacks from PDFs and many ethnic armed groups across the country.
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