War Against the Junta

30 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Kachin Village Clash: Residents

By Hein Htoo Zan 7 December 2022

At least 30 regime soldiers were killed in clashes with a combined force of Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Kachin Region People’s Defense Force (KPDF) fighters that broke out in Hpakant Township, Kachin State on Monday, according to locals.

Junta troops fired three rounds of artillery into Hmaw Bon village in Lone Khin tract on Monday before launching a ground attack, villagers said. Two shells struck the village monastery and prayer hall while the third fell onto a football field.

Junta infantry then seized at least 30 villagers and held them prisoner at the monastery. The combined KIA and KPDF force launched retaliatory attacks in an effort to drive the troops out of the village. All the detained villagers managed to escape after the junta troops were caught up in fierce fighting, residents said.

Junta forces fired another seven shells into and around Hpakant on Tuesday, they added. The local phone network was reportedly still down on Wednesday afternoon.

Combined KIA and PDF forces have now taken control of most of Hpakant as junta troops struggle to gain a foothold in the township.

The Irrawaddy reached out to KIA spokesperson Colonel Naw Bu to ask about the conflict situation in Hpakant but he didn’t answer the call.

The clashes at Hmaw Bon ended on Wednesday at 2 pm when troops from the regime’s 33rd Light Infantry Division withdrew, residents said. However, they abducted about 20 people as they retreated.

“They abducted 12 residents of Lone Khin village who were working at brick workshops beside the road near Hmaw Bon, and also some other villagers from Lone Khin and Kanhsee villages who were commuting on the route as the junta troops retreated,” said a former village administrator in Lone Khin village tract.

He said Hmaw Bon villagers had reported that at least 30 junta soldiers were killed in the clashes while two fighters from the KIA-PDF alliance were injured.

All residents of Hpakant were now struggling for survival amid severe hardships as conflict flared again, he said.

“The people are ruined and have no idea where to flee. Residents of towns are fleeing to villages, while villagers from places like Lone Khin are escaping to towns, and so on.”