Three fighter jets attack KIA’s Battalion-6 headquarters in Hpakant Township
Three Burma army fighter jets launched a coordinated attack on the Battalion-6 headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the afternoon of 19 April. The KIA headquarters is located in Hpakant Township of Kachin State which is the centre of the jade mining sector in Burma.
A local man, who lives in Hpakant, said that three jets attacked the KIA’s Battalion-6 headquarters on N’mer Bum near Gansi village in Hpakant Township around 5:30 p.m. on 19 April. The Burma army’s Russian-made Yak-130 fighter jets flew from the Myitkyina airbase.
“Nobody was wounded by the airstrikes but some huts were damaged in the camp. Three jet fighters attacked the military camp. They dropped nine bombs, but one of the bombs did not explode when it hit the ground,” the local man told KNG.
The local man thinks that the Burma army has been frequently attacking the KIA’s Battalion-6, which operates under KIA brigade-9, because the Burma army wants to fully control the Hpakant region through weakening the local KIA and People’s Defense Force (PDF) positions.
“Combined forces of KIA and PDF are active in the border area between Sagaing Region and Kachin State. The KIA and PDF control some territories in that area. This is why the Burma army launches airstrikes against the KIA and PDF troops. They frequently launch surprise air attacks on KIA and PDF positions. I think they will continue to launch air attacks in this area,” the local man told KNG.
Burma army fighter jets have carried out airstrikes on the KIA’s Battalion-26 and Battalion-6 of brigade-9 in Hpakant Township multiple times since the start of this year.
On 10 March, two fighter jets attacked the KIA Battalion-6 headquarters. At least 4 KIA soldiers were killed during the airstrikes, and some buildings were damaged. KNG has reported on at least seven other instances of Burma army airstrikes on KIA positions in Hpakant Township already this year.