Resistance Fighters and KIA Clash With Junta Forces in Northern Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 12 January 2022

Fighters from Putao’s People’s Defense Force (PDF-Putao) and ethnic armed group the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) clashed with junta troops in northern Myanmar on Sunday. It was the second battle in the remote far north of Kachin State in the last two weeks.

The resistance group said it engaged some 60 junta troops on Sunday morning in Sumprabum Town. The regime soldiers were from the Putao-based Light Infantry Battalions 137 and 138.

Soldiers from the KIA’s Brigade 1 also fought alongside PDF-Putao. Some junta soldiers are thought to have been injured in the clash, but PDF-Putao and the KIA did not suffer any casualties, said PDF-Putao.

The Irrawaddy was unable to reach the resistance group for a comment. However, KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu said the battle was short as the regime forces soon retreated.

“The clash was not fierce. It was just a confrontation between KIA troops at the frontline and junta troops who were marching. It was neither a raid nor an attack. The clash happened because they marched into our area,” said Col. Naw Bu.

Although there are no military tensions on the ground at present, fighting can break out anytime the military regime conducts operations in Kachin, he added.

On 29 December, a combined force of the KIA and PDF-Putao ambushed a military convoy in Putao Township.

PDF-Putao is a resistance group operating under the parallel National Unity Government (NUG). The resistance group has said it will fully cooperate with the KIA as agreed between the NUG and the Kachin Political Interim Coordination Team, a body formed in March last year by Kachin organizations in Myanmar and abroad to advocate on behalf of Kachin people living under military rule.

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