Tension Rises as Burmese Army Attacks KIA Frontline Posts

KIA troops withdrew from two frontline posts, Pause Post and Htoi Wa post under KIA’s 18th Battalion, after surprise attacks by Burmese Army on April 17-18. The two posts are located just a few miles from Namsan Yang in southeastern Kachin State.

Burmese army’s 381st Light Infantry Regiment troops under Mogaung-based 3rd Military Operations Command launched a surprise attack on KIA’s Htoi Wa post on April 17 at 1:30 pm, said Col. Nhpang Naw Bu of KIO’s Information Department.

Burmese army troops pounded KIA posts with 60 mm mortar shells beginning Sunday afternoon. Following repeated mortar attacks, Burmese army troops advanced towards KIA frontline posts from three directions, said Col. Naw Bu. The battle between the two sides took place at terrain between Pause Post and Htoi Wa post, and lasted till Monday 9 pm.

Meanwhile, more Burmese army troops have arrived in KIA’s headquarters Laiza area. Col. Naw Bu said, “Burmese army troops from Myitkyina and Da Law have arrived in Gangdau Yang, Npawn and Galang Ja Pa. About 300 soldiers are estimated to be positioned around Laiza area in recent weeks. We heard they have an area clearing operation plan west of Myitkyina-Bhamo road.”

Burmese army began pulling troops under 66th, 77th, 88th, and 99th Light Infantry Division from northern Shan State. Kachin locals are concerned over escalation of tension as those troops would be repositioned in Kachin State.

Another battle took place between KIA’s 12th Battalion troops and Burmese army’s 276th Light Infantry Battalion troops near Pang Hka village in Mansi Township on April 18.