New clashes break out between KIA, regime forces in northern Shan State 

Clashes reignited between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the junta’s armed forces in northern Shan State’s Kutkai Township on Sunday night, with ambushes by Kachin forces on the regime’s supply line continuing through Tuesday.

On Monday night, the KIA attacked six of the military’s boxer trucks carrying oil through Kutkai along the national highway from Muse, on the Myanmar-China border. They struck another truck on Tuesday morning, KIA spokesperson Col Naw Bu confirmed.

“We didn’t attack [trucks carrying] the fuel used by the public, but by the military council,” Col Naw Bu told Myanmar Now.

A boxer truck carrying fuel for the military regime is burnt in Kutkai after an attack by the KIA on Tuesday morning (Kachinwaves)

At around 7:30pm on Sunday night, the KIA confronted a Myanmar military column as they entered Kutkai Township at around 7:30pm. The battle that ensued lasted around one hour, according to a resident of Namparchi village, near where the fighting occurred.

“We were all hiding in bunkers during the fighting. The heavy artillery and small weapons were loud,” the villager told Myanmar Now. 

He added that there were no civilian casualties in Namparchi, but said that artillery shells had landed near the village.

There were no reports of casualties by either the KIA or the regime’s military. 

Tension was still high in the area at the time of reporting, with junta troops stationed around 1,000 yards from Namparchi. Soldiers from the Northern Alliance of ethnic armed organisations—which includes the Arakan Army, KIA, Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the ethnic Kokang Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—have also been seen near villages around Kutkai town.

After Sunday’s clash, the junta’s army set landmines around Namparchi, according to the residents. 

The junta-run Myawaddy news agency reported that two locals from Wa Wan village in Kachin State’s Momauk Township were injured by a landmine on the evening of May 15; the military alleged that the mine was planted by the KIA.

On the afternoon of May 15, there were two shootouts between the regime’s military and the KIA in Kutkai. Fighting between the junta’s army and members of the Northern Alliance has been breaking out in the township since May 4. 

KIA spokesperson Col Naw Bu confirmed that new fighting had occurred in recent days, but could not provide further information on the clashes, such as whether other Northern Alliance members were also involved. 

Hundreds of villagers in the township have fled their homes, and those who have stayed have dug bunkers in which to hide if the fighting is nearby. 

Since the February 1 military coup, there have been more than 50 battles between the junta’s armed forces and the KIA in northern Shan State. 

Fighting has also occurred in Mansi and Momauk townships in Kachin State, but has died down in recent days, according to the KIA’s Col Naw Bu. 

“I think fighting is expected to continue, but I don’t know when or how it will break out,” he said. 

On May 3, the KIA shot down one of the regime’s combat helicopters near Konelaw village in Momauk. The military has been trying to recapture bases in the area that have been seized by the KIA. 


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