The Burma Army destroyed a COVID-19 checkpoint created by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in the Loije area on the Kachin State-China border on Monday, according to local sources.
The KIO’s medics and civilian health workers have worked together at the site since March to carry out medical screenings on locals passing through the area after crossing the border.
“There is a road between Loije and Lana Zup and it connects to Nba Pa village. The medical checkpoint is located on the bridge on the road,” a local told KNG on the condition of anonymity. “The KIO’s medics do medical checks for local people who pass over the bridge. The Burma Army came to destroy the medical checkpoint at around 9:30 a.m. on June 22.”
According to local sources, when the Nba Pa-based KIA Battalion 1 came into the area, the Burma Army troops had already demolished the screening point and returned to their Loije camp.
A clash was reportedly close to occurring between the two forces in the area on Monday.
The Burma Army and the KIA had clashes in Muse and Kutkai townships in northern Shan State earlier this month.
Col N’hpang Naw Bu, who is in charge of the KIO’s information department, said that the Burma Army had intentionally attacked the Kachin forces as part of an offensive.
On May 9, the Burma Army issued a declaration of a unilateral ceasefire in the country lasting from May 10 to August 31 except in territory where so-called “terrorist groups” were deemed to be active.