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Kachin State fighting between KIO and Myanmar Army resumes


A soldier from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) takes position in a bunker near the Laja Yang front line in Laiza, Kachin state, Myanmar, 20 September 2012. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

A soldier from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) takes position in a bunker near the Laja Yang front line in Laiza, Kachin state, Myanmar, 20 September 2012. Photo: Nyein Chan Naing/EPA

The past few weeks have seen a resumption of fighting in Kachin State between government forces and troops from the Kachin Independence Army's (KIA).

The latest wave of fighting began when the Myanmar Army troops attached a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) outpost near the group's Laiza capital on Thursday 7 April.

While KIA troops have clashed frequently with army forces in Shan State, this month's clashes have been the first army attack on KIA positions in Kachin State since last year.

The Kachin News Group (KNG) has learned that fighting at the Pau Se outpost on 17 April resulted in losses for KIA forces. The outpost is located west of Nam San Yang on the Myitkyina to Bhamo Road. The Myanmar Army attacked the KIA post which was mostly manned by troops from the KIO's local militia, known in Kachin as MHH, with three columns after the Kachin troops conducted their prayers at around 11 am on Sunday 17 April.

Two KIA soldiers were killed and seven were injured, according to a KIA official, who spoke on condition anonymity. The KIA was forced to retreat from their outpost following the attack he said.

Last week when KNG contacted the KIA's Lt-Col Naw Bu for comment he said he had to yet confirm the casualty figures. This was the third time the Myanmar Army has seized a KIA outpost near Laiza since the National League for Democracy (NLD)’s government took office last month.

More fighting is expected to take place in the near future. The Myanmar Army has ordered people living in the villages of Nam San Yang, Gang Dau Yang, and other villages along the Myitkyina to Bhamo Road to move out by the end of the month.

The Maisak Pa road which was used for travel from Myitkyina to Laiza has also been blocked off since the fighting began earlier this month.

Courtesy of BNI

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