KIA attacks police battalions in Hpakant

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) launched simultaneous attacks on at least four of the junta’s police battalions in the Kachin State township of Hpakant early on Sunday morning, according to locals. 

Residents told Myanmar Now that several policemen were killed in the attacks, and that the KIA seized weaponry from the sites. 

Two of the affected police battalions were located in Lone Khin village tract, locals said.

A Hpakant local said about 20 policemen from the battalion in Hpawa village were killed.

“Only two policemen escaped. The rest were killed. And a battalion commander of the police force was also killed,” the resident said.   

Another battalion was near San Khar village.

A spokesperson for Myanmar’s junta did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the fighting. 

One of the battalions also hosts company offices for the military-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Limited (MEHL), according to residents. 

Both the U.S. and U.K. announced sanctions against MEHL this week. 

The KIA’s attacks took place at around 3:00am and continued into the early morning on March 28. 

Zaw Nam, a resident of Sangkha village, near the village of Hpawahtake where one of the police battalions was located, said that he could hear the sound of gunfire and heavy weapons until 6:00am. 

“The KIA seized the police force’s weapons at Hpawahtake. They died,” he said, adding that the police “looked seriously hurt.”  

At the time of reporting, the KIA’s information officer Colonel Naw Bu told Myanmar Now that no details were available about the incidents because there had been no ground report issued on the situation in Hpakant. 

He said that heavy artillery had been fired indiscriminately from the junta’s Kharagone base near the Kachin headquarters of Laiza on March 27. 

Since the Myanmar military staged a coup on February 1, fighting has broken out between the junta’s armed forces and the KIA in areas under the KIA’s control in northern Shan State. In early March, fighting also took place in Kachin State, including in Mogaung, Mohnyin, Dawphoneyang and Sadone. 

The KIA seized the junta’s Alaw Bum military base in Dawphoneyang, southern Kachin State, on March 25. 

A resident of the state capital of Myitkyina said that the regime’s armed forces used helicopters to attack the KIA at Alaw Bum, but the Kachin forces were still able to take over the location. 

The KIA’s Brigade 8 issued a statement on Sunday urging the coup regime to end the bloody crackdown on peaceful protesters in Myanmar, stating that the KIA would fight alongside citizens against the dictatorship. 

The Karen National Union (KNU) has opposed the coup and also conducted military offensives against the junta’s army in its own territory in southeastern Myanmar. 

The KNU seized the Thee Mu Hta military base in Karen State’s Mutraw district on March 27. The number of casualties in the attack remains unconfirmed. Photos showed at least seven military captives. 

In retaliation, the junta launched two air strikes against KNU-controlled areas of Mutraw district later that night, killing three civilians, Reuters reported. The Karen Women’s Organization said that eight people were injured in the strikes, and at least 3,000 people had fled across the border to Thailand.  



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