The Kachin Independent Army (KIA) says 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 outposts on Mt Kathaing and at Nam Hmaw village and an SNA position near a bridge in Sal Zin village in Myanmar’s jade-mining hub, according to Colonel Naw Bu, the KIA spokesman.
“We seized the SNA outpost near Sal Zin and then the one at Mt Kathaing. It is confirmed,” he said.
The colonel added that the KIA seized three SNA officers along with other ranks along with arms and ammunition. Hpakant residents said the junta suffered many deaths and heavy casualties.
The Mt Kathaing position was formerly held by the KIA until the junta seized it in 2022.
Both junta outposts were held by Light Infantry Division 33 and were strategically important for the military, said residents.
“Residents should be aware that the regime might retaliate with airstrikes,” warned Col Naw Bu.
As the clashes broke out about 600 residents from Nam Hmaw and other nearby villages fled their homes. The junta fired at least 30 shells on Monday from its bases in Hpakant.
Col Naw Bu said KIA troops held the Mt Kathaing outpost but were facing junta airstrikes on Tuesday. He said fighting was continuing on Tuesday evening.
The two outposts were about 16km from Hpakant and were held by around 70 junta troops, said residents.