A Burma Army (BA) column was ambushed three times within a week by Kachin Independence Army (KIA) at different points along the Lido Road in Hpakant Township, Kachin State.
On the morning of 25 September, KIA Battalion 20 attacked the column of over 100 soldiers with a landmine next to a rubber plantation near Lawah village. The soldiers were travelling on foot from Dung Bon village.
According to a local, who couldn’t say if there were casualties on either side, after the ambush there was an exchange of fire for about 30 minutes. BA shelled the area before finally retreating.
The same column was attacked on 23 September while travelling in vehicles between the villages of Maran Kahtawng and Makauk Zup. After the ambush, the BA soldiers hid for a whole day near Makauk Zup before continuing north on foot towards Lawah, where the KIA attacked them the second time.
The third ambush by the KIA occurred on Sunday morning (26 September) when the Tatmadaw soldiers pushed north towards Tanai Township between Khun Hseng Yang and Dung Ban villages.
A resident of Khun Hseng Yang told the KNG that everyone feared retaliatory fire from BA troops in Karmai town and Dong Ban village. “The KIA had already announced that they’d attack the Burma Army if they entered their area. When the column arrived in our village, everyone fled to Lawah. The military stayed in the village and the KIA troops surrounded it,” the man said.
More than a week ago, KIA ambushed BA near the village Tarung, also along the Lido Road, but in Tanai Township. According to locals, the military has sent many troops in that direction.
On 20 August, the junta cut all connectivity in Hpakant Township. Many suspect that this is part of a strategy to make it difficult for Kachin resistance forces to communicate with each other when BA launches a major offensive against them.