Kachin News: Burma army captures KIA post, heavy fighting continues in southern Kachin state

Burma army captures KIA post, heavy fighting continues in southern Kachin state (click to view)

A column of Burma army troops took control of a post from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) near Dagaw located on the Bhamo to Loije road this morning, a KIA officer told the Kachin News Group.

Over 50 Burmese took part in the unexpected attack on Dagaw post at about 8:30 am. The attack occurred when the six KIA soldiers guarding the post were having breakfast, said Battalion 1 commander Major Hpauyam Yaw Htung.

“The government troops quickly circled our post from the back. Our soldiers retreated under fire. All soldiers retreated from the post but two are now missing,” Major Yaw Htung told the KNG. Although the KIA has yet to retaliate for the attack tensions remain high in the area.

Heavy fighting also continued for most of the day in and around three displaced villages in southern Kachin state's Mansi township, Nam Gau, Gawng Run and Nam Hkan. The fighting took place in an area controlled by KIA battalion 12 Major Labang Jawn Awng, commander of battalion 12 told the KNG.

The KIA troops were the target of artillery fired from Nam Gau since 7 am, Jawn Awng said.

Yesterday, Burmese troops opened fire on Nam Gau as they entered the largely abandoned village where a logging team had set up camp. Some of the tree cutters have been detained in the village by Burmese soldiers, according to Commander Jawn Awng.

Sporadic clashes have continued to occur in the KIA battalion 12 area in Mansi township since several hundred government troops were deployed to the area in October of last year.

The fighting broke out just two days after British Minister Hugo Swire visited Kachin state.