KIA launches simultaneous attacks on multiple Burma army camps

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and allied forces simultaneously attacked multiple Burma army military camps near Laiza and along the Myitkyina-Bhamo highway on the eastern side of the Irrawaddy River in Kachin State, according to a KIA spokesperson.

“Our troops attacked the Burma army’s military camps along the Myitkyina to Bhamo vehicle road. Our troops attacked many camps at the same time,” Col Naw Bu, head of the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIO) Information Department, told KNG.

The KIA and its allies attacked up to 12 military camps including Shwe Nyaung Pin Light Infantry Battalion 321 (LIB-321) in Waingmaw Township, Numlang LIB-438, Kunglaw camp in Momauk Township, and the Hkaya Bum, Bum Re Bum and Hpun Pyen Bum mountain camps near the KIO’s Laiza headquarters.

The Burma army’s Hkaya Bum and Bum Re Bum mountain camps have threatened the KIO’s Laiza headquarters and nearby areas for decades. In October 2023, soldiers stationed at Hkaya Bum and Bum Re Bum attacked Mung Lai Hkyet village with heavy artillery fire, killing at least 29 civilians. In 2014, Burma army soldiers deployed at these mountain camps attacked the KIA’s officer cadet school near Laiza town with artillery, killing 23 cadets.

Today, soldiers from the Hkaya Bum camp attacked Laiza town with artillery fire. An artillery shell landed in Woichai ward, killing a mother and her child.

“The KIA has planned to attack these mountain camps for so long. So the question is ‘why did the KIA attack these camps today?’ In my opinion, it’s related to the current fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and Burma army in Arakan State,” a Kachin political analyst, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told KNG, adding “The AA is currently launching a strong offensive against the Burma army in Arakan State. The AA has attempted to capture essential towns from the Burma army, and the Burma army has used excessive force to defend those towns from the AA’s attacks. The AA is an ally of the KIA, so from a military point-of-view the KIA is helping to break the strength of their common enemy. The KIA’s offensive attacks in Kachin State can be seen as a form of support for the AA offensives in Arakan State.”

While armed clashes have stopped in northern Shan State following recent ceasefire negotiations brokered by China, clashes have continued to escalate in Arakan State, Chin State, Karenni State, Sagaing Region and Magwe Region. In Kachin State, armed clashes have recently escalated in Hpakant, Myitkyina, Waingmaw and Bhamo Townships.

“The KIA’s approach is to liberate the whole country through this Spring Revolution. The KIA sees the need to liberate the whole country rather than specific ethnic states, therefore the KIA is closely working with the National Unity Government (NUG). The KIA has allied with People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) to fight against the Burma army. In my opinion, the KIA’s offensive operation in Kachin State also helps to improve the military power balance in Magwe and Sagaing Regions. The KIA’s offensive operation will help resistance groups in other regions and states in various ways,” the Kachin political analyst told KNG.

Since the end of 2023, the KIA has ramped-up its offensive operations against the Burma army in an attempt to capture multiple military camps. The current offensive operation in Kachin State is the KIA’s widest front line operation in recent memory.

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