Burma army destroys Hkang Lung bridge following clashes in Waingmaw Township

The Burma army destroyed the Hkang Lung bridge with an explosive device, following a clash with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on the evening of 19 March, according to local sources. Local people have fled from San Kar village.

“Fighting broke out near San Kar village last night. I heard that the Burma army suffered many causalities. A few hours later, we heard a huge explosion. We had already fled the area because of the fighting so we didn’t know what had happened. The next morning we realized that the Burma army had bombed the Hkang Lung bridge,” a female resident of San Kar village told KNG.

The Hkang Lung bridge is built across the Nlung Hka river about four miles from San Kar village in Waingmaw Township of Kachin State.

Many local people and farmers depend on Hkang Lung bridge to stay connected with and sell their produce to other villages in the area. People from at least 20 nearby villages depend on the bridge for the livelihoods including San Kar, Katcho, Hkang Lung, Law Hser, Da Jang and Mong Mao villages.

A male San Kar village resident said that local people will face difficulties accessing their farmlands because the Burma army destroyed the bridge.

“In this area the majority of people are farmers, and many of them used the bridge to get to their agricultural lands. If there is no bridge, we will have to use boats to cross the river. Now we will have many difficulties when we travel in the area. We have no idea when this bridge will be reconstructed,” the local man told KNG.

Chinese-owned banana plantation companies operating in the area also depend on the Hkang Lung bridge for transporting their bananas.

“The Burma army destroyed this bridge because they want to restrict the movement of KIA and PDF in this area. They know that KIA and PDF troops have deployed in the Tar Law Gyi area,” the local man told KNG.

Since 7 March, the KIA and allied forces have attacked the Burma army’s military camps in Aung Myay (I), Aung Myay (II) and Shwe Nyaung Pin villages in Waingmaw Township. Military tensions remain high in the area.

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