Myanmar resistance forces take over town near Indian border

Anti-junta groups say it took them four days to capture Khampat, a town in Sagaing Region that also borders Chin State

Anti-regime armed groups have seized control of Khampat, a town in western Sagaing Region located near the border with India, according to Myanmar’s civilian National Unity Government (NUG).

In a statement released Tuesday evening, the NUG said the town was captured after a four-day offensive by an alliance of anti-junta forces that included the NUG-led People’s Defence Force (PDF) and the Kachin Independence Army.

Resistance fighters operating in the NUG’s Military Region 1, based in Sagaing’s Tamu District, began their attacks last Friday, igniting clashes that continued until the town fell to them at around 11am Tuesday, an officer of the Tamu District PDF told Myanmar Now. 

“We have seized the entire town of Khampat. The four-day battle was fiercely contested. This morning, all the enemies retreated,” the PDF officer said late Tuesday.

Resistance forces have since taken control of army camps, police stations, and junta administrative buildings in the town but have not yet completed area-clearing operations, he added.

“The junta hasn’t launched any airstrikes yet, but we can’t say the planes won’t come. So we are doing what needs to be done quickly,” said the PDF officer, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In addition to weapons left behind by the fleeing junta troops, the resistance forces said they also found the abandoned bodies of two dead soldiers.

Complete casualty figures from the fighting were unavailable at the time of reporting. It was also unclear how many junta troops were based in the town or where those who retreated had gone.

Khampat is the administrative centre of a sub-township consisting of five urban wards and eight village tracts, with a total population of around 38,000, according to the national census conducted in 2014. The town covers an area of 12 square miles and has three schools and a 25-bed hospital.

Although it borders Chin State, most residents of the town are ethnic Kachin. Troops from the Chinland Defence Force, another armed group formed to oppose the 2021 military takeover, also took part in the four-day offensive.

Many armed resistance groups have stepped up their activities since the start of a major offensive by an anti-regime alliance in northern Shan State late last month.

Scores of junta outposts and at least four towns have been captured since Operation 1027, the offensive launched by the Brotherhood Alliance, which consists of the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, began on October 27.
China, which borders areas that have seen some of the worst clashes, has expressed concern over the ongoing conflict, which has it says has resulted in casualties among its own nationals.

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