The Myanmar junta's military has begun a significant operation against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in an attempt to reclaim an outpost in Lailum Aungja Village in Laiza Township, Kachin State, which the ethnic army seized and held on Saturday, September 16.
According to Myanmar-based newspaper, The Irrawaddy, the KIA seized the outpost, located across Laiza Creek from Nam San Yang Village near the KIA headquarters in Laiza, at around 8 a.m. on Saturday.
About five dozen junta military troops were stationed at the base when it was seized.
“We started launching an attack on one of their outposts in that area by firing artillery and launching drones. Then, most of the junta troops moved to another outpost,” said KIA spokesperson Colonel Naw Bu.
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Aside from the one seized by the KIA in Lailum Aungja, the junta military has two other outposts in the area.
“Since we seized it, they have been sending in jet fighters and dropping bombs on Nam San Yang and around the Aungja villages at least seven or eight times a day up to today,” Naw Bu said.
The outpost is still in the hands of the KIA. The Myitkyina-Bhamo Road remains closed due to significant portions of it becoming battlefields.
“Clashes started breaking out at around 8 a.m., and they fired artillery shells at each other,” said a 53-year-old ethnic Kachin man who fled Nam San Yang in July.
According to a KIA source, immediately after the KIA captured the outpost, two junta jet jets arrived and bombed and strafed the wooded area with automatic weapons in an attempt to kill the KIA men.
“The jet fighters dropped bombs, then they came back again and dropped more bombs. We have not yet been able to get detailed casualty figures,” he said.
The junta military has sent troops into the region in an effort to retake the outpost in Aungja Village.
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