Police Killed as KIA Attacks Junta Positions at Jade Mine: Residents

By The Irrawaddy 22 May 2021

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked two military and police security outposts and killed at least two police officers at the Hkamti jade mine, Sagaing Region early Saturday morning.

Residents said that the KIA set fire to both military and police outposts in Machyang Hka and Nam Si Bum villages at the Hkamti jade mine after the attack.

The villagers said the two compounds are owned by the Myanma Economic Holdings Public Company Limited (MEHL), one of two major conglomerates controlled by the coup leaders. MEHL, Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC) and its subsidiary are heavily involved in the jade mining business in the country’s major jade hub in Hpakant and Hkamti townships.

“Military and police have been stationed there at bases for a long time. All the soldiers and police ran away after the KIA lunched the attacks,” a resident said.

“The military also launched airstrikes and one civilian was injured,” a resident said.

A KIA officer on the ground told The Irrawaddy the KIA captured at least seven injured police during the attack. However, The Irrawaddy could not verify the claim.

The office of the commander-in-chief of defense services had not made an announcement relating to the attack in Hkamti Township as of Saturday afternoon.

Clashes were also reported between the KIA and military regime troops in Momauk Township on Saturday morning. The residents said five houses in Myothit village were burned down after a regime air raid on Friday at around 8:00 pm.

The KIA attacked seven tanker trucks in northern Shan State with artillery on suspicion that they were carrying aviation fuel for the military on May 18. Moreover, two more fuel tanker trucks were also burned by the KIA in Putao Township, Kachin State on May 20.

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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