200 Junta Troops Grab Control over Sama Baptist Office and Station their soldiers there

A Junta  200-strong column, riding in 5 vehicles took control over The Kachin Baptist’s Sama Zonal Office in Kachin State, and stationed themselves within the premises.

“After entering the compound, the soldiers began unloading supplies from the trucks.

They then entered the office and took up positions on February 22nd. It appears that they will continue their journey towards the Sama intersection”, a Sama villager told KNG.

The Sama intersection is near Kazu and Dabak villages in Kachin State and the Sama Office was opened by the Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) in Kazu village Local speculation suggests the column might be a convoy attempting to deliver food supplies to Junta outposts in Maliyang and Kakambum villages via the Sama intersection.

“The Military Council has been unable to pass to the other side of the Sama intersection for months. Every time they pass that route by land, clashes broke out. It might be a very difficult situation for them. Now it seems that they are trying to go through that route again”, another Kazu villager remarked.

Since the beginning of January, the Military Council has been endeavoring to transport food supplies via the land route to the security outposts along the path to Namsanyang village.

However, after traversing Kazu and Dabak villages and approaching the Kazu intersection, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) typically waited and launched attacks on the advancing Junta columns, making it exceedingly dangerous for the Military Council to navigate that route.

There was once a Military Council outpost at the Sama intersection, approximately a mile from Dabak village, but following the escalation of clashes in Namsanyang in July last year, the troops stationed there withdrew.

Therefore the  KIA and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) were able to establish a strong presence around the Sama intersection, positioning themselves advantageously to intercept and engage any Junta troops en route to Maliyang, Jarpu, Kakambum villages, leading to frequent skirmishes in the area.

“The villagers are quite concerned about the possibility of escalating clashes. Tensions can escalate at any moment. Now that the soldiers have taken positions in KBC’s office, if they try to force their way through the Sama intersection to deliver supplies, there’s a chance the fighting will intensify”, a Sama resident said.

According to residents, the Military Council troops are currently utilizing backhoes they brought along to pave ways for further advancement.

Following the loss of the outpost near the Sama intersection in July last year, the Military Council exhausted all means to deliver food to Namsanyang; however, with KIA’s occupation of the Kandongyang and Loilongaungjar outposts, using this logistical route became exceedingly hazardous for the Junta.

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