Nearly 60 junta camps along Myitkyina-Bhamo-Lwegel road seized by KIA

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The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and allied forces have reportedly taken control of nearly 60 strategically important military council positions along the Myitkyina-Bhamo-Lwegel road in Kachin State.

Colonel Naw Bu, information officer of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), said that the KIA and allied forces have captured nearly 60 military council bases and outposts in more than three weeks of fighting with the military council troops that began in early March.

“(We have captured) 56-58 camps. Most of them are along the Myitkyina-Bhamo road and along the Lwegel-Bhamo road and hilltop posts in the upper part of Lwegel. Also among them are the camps located in Narhpawt and Lai Sin villages in Laiza area,” said Col. Naw Bu.

Military tensions in the vicinity of KIO headquarters in Laiza, which began on 7 March, remain high.

The offensives by the KIA and allied forces forced the military junta to abandon its strategically important hilltop camps along the Bhamo-Lwegel road.

The captured military positions are not only strategically important but were also former KIO/KIA bases that were lost after the 2011 offensives, according to Col. Naw Bu.

He further commented on the strategic importance of the recently captured Yaw Yon camp: “It’s very important. It is a strategically important hilltop post that ensures Lwegel’s security. It also secures the road to Lwegel and Bhamo. From the large hilltop camp, they could threaten Mai Jar Yang. Strategically it is a very important hilltop camp. Historically, all our resistance forces launched a joint attack on the Yon Yaw camp. When they withdrew from the camp, we occupied it. And then they recaptured it.”

Since 7 March, the military council has been forced to abandon their bases and outposts, one after another. As a result, the junta has been unable to carry out ground offensives and has only resorted to airstrikes in attempts to recapture the lost positions, according to reports.

“The ground fighting has become quiet, almost none. But the military council is carrying out airstrikes. We heard there were airstrikes today (31 March) in Myo Thit and Kone Law,” Col. Naw Bu said.

On 31 March, the KIA and allies also launched offensives to capture Sein Long camp between Laiza and Bhamo. The KIA has also ordered civilians to evacuate from Lwegel town, according to locals.

A woman from Lwegel said, “We are now getting ready to leave the town around 1-2pm today. The KIA has asked all residents to evacuate. For security reasons, we can’t say where we will go. All the residents are packing their belongings. Some men will stay behind as town guards.”

From 27 to 29 March, the KIA and allied forces captured the strategically important Yaw Yon hilltop camp near Lwegel town, as well as Dam Bum, Lawt Mun, Hnga Ga Yan, Bang Yawng, Shan Taing, Lawt Dan camps along with other smaller outposts.

Similarly, the KIA and allies have also captured nearly 60 camps including Myo Thit and Kone Law hilltop camps in Momauk Township, as well as Nar Hpawt and Par Jawng camps near the former KIO headquarters over the past three weeks.

Sent by NMG.

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