Clashes resume in Kachin State between KIO and army

Clashes resume in Kachin State near KIA headquarter Laiza

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 Burma Army troops attached a Kachin Independence Army (KIA) outpost near the group's Laiza capital on Thursday April 7th.

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 since 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 Burma 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 April 17th. Two 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.

When last week 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 Burma Army has seized an KIA’s outpost near Laiza since the National League for Democracy (NLD)’s government took office last month.

It is expected that more fighting will take place in the near future. The 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 route which has been used for travel from Myitkyina to Laiza has also been blocked off since the fighting began earlier this month.

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