KIA attacks multiple junta bases on coup anniversary

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) attacked five Myanmar army bases in Kachin and northern Shan states on Tuesday—the day marking one year since the country’s military coup—managing to “overrun and torch” one of the locations, a spokesperson for the organisation said. 

According to KIA information officer Col Naw Bu, two of the bases were in Kachin State and three were in northern Shan State. 

At 10:30am, Kachin forces reportedly attacked two bases in Kachin State’s Putao Township, accompanied by members of the Putao People’s Defence Force, which confirmed they were fighting alongside the KIA. 

They set fire to a base jointly operated by the junta and a Myanmar army-allied militia some 40 miles east of Putao Town on the road to the state capital of Myitkyina and just 500 feet from Tsum Pi Yang village. A few miles away, the allied forces also attacked the Shin Gat Bum base near Ma Hsee Yang village.

“We have received intel that we have overrun and torched the Tsum Pi Yang base. We haven’t gotten any updates regarding the Shin Gat Bum base apart from that we shot it up,” Col Naw Bu said. 

Residents of Tsum Pi Yang village fled as artillery shells shot during the fighting fell near the community, according to a villager, but had returned to their homes by the time of reporting.

The local man said that he heard the shelling began at around 10am, followed by gunfire, and that the battle lasted for around two hours. 

“The fire started immediately after the gunshots stopped. From the village, we could see the smoke coming out of the base,” he told Myanmar Now, adding that few soldiers were present at the time of the attack. 

In northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township, Col Naw Bu confirmed that the KIA also attacked the junta’s tactical hill on Tuesday morning. 

A Kutkai local said that he heard artillery fire at around 8am and another 30 minutes of gunfire, adding that the KIA retreated shortly after. 

One civilian suffered a leg injury from a shell explosion as the military continued to fire artillery from the hill following the KIA retreat, he said. 

Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify his statement about the KIA movements and military response or the injured local. 

The KIA also attacked a junta base at Nam Hkaing bridge, some 20 miles northwest of Kutkai town and near Namkham Township and the Chinese border, according to Col Naw Bu.

He did not provide further information about this attack, or the third target in northern Shan State, and the KIA has not released a statement on the strikes. 

The junta has not released any information about recent clashes with the KIA in Kachin and northern Shan states. 

Kachin Independence Organisation chair Gen N’Ban La has said that the group and its armed wing, the KIA, is committed to working with individuals and organisations in order to eradicate the military dictatorship in Myanmar. 

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