Myanmar’s Kachin army claims capture of 30 junta soldiers

The group says it seized three more towns in the north, with four civilians killed during the battles.
2024.01.22
Myanmar’s Kachin army claims capture of 30 junta soldiers The Kachin army captured 30 junta soldiers in Mansi township’s Man Wein Gyi camp in Kachin state on Jan. 21, 2024.
Citizen journalist

Myanmar’s Kachin Independence Army and allied People’s Defense Forces claim they captured 30 junta soldiers during battles in the country’s north, a Kachin army officer told Radio Free Asia on Monday. 

The Kachin Independence Army launched the raid on Friday near the Kachin and Shan state border in another attempt to capture Mongmit city, according to the army’s information officer Col. Naw Bu. 

Some 30 junta soldiers, including a deputy battalion commander, were captured alive along with their weapons, he said. The group also seized a junta camp near Man Wein Gyi village in Kachin state’s Mansi township when the clashes ended on Sunday. 

“I received a report from the frontline that 30 junta soldiers, including the deputy battalion commander, had been captured,” Col. Naw Bu said. “They are currently being held under the international prisoner of war law. It is not yet known what action will be taken against them.”

Over 10 junta soldiers were found dead in a clearing after the battle, he said, adding  that they are seizing regional military bases in order to regain control over all junta-held areas.

Scores of junta soldiers crossed the border into China on Sunday, Col. Naw Bu added. Roughly 57 of them were sent back through the Muse crossing which borders Yunnan province on Monday, according to reports by local media.  

Strategic Captures

Mansi township’s Man Wein Gyi camp is a strategic military base that connects Kachin's Bhamo city and northern Shan state’s Namhkam city, Col. Naw Bu said. 

The Kachin Independence Army and joint forces also captured Kachin’s Mabein city on Sunday morning, located between Mansi and Mongmit townships, he added. 

“Mabein has also been seized,” he told RFA. “All armed forces, including the Arakan Army, People’s Defense Forces, and the All Burma Students Democratic Front united and fought the junta camps.”

The junta retaliated with airstrikes, damaging some houses, Col. Naw Bu said, adding that the extent of the damage isn’t known at this time. 

Y-12 planes dropped more than 60 bombs in Mabein township’s Waing Long, Kone Ma Hkan, and Nam Pong Pong villages on Sunday afternoon, locals told RFA today, adding that scores more were dropped around 8 p.m. on Sunday. 

More than 4,000 civilians have fled Mabein city and nearby villages since the attack began on Thursday. 

Mongmit Battles

Kachin Independence Army coalition forces have also been trying to seize Shan state’s Mongmit since Thursday, leading to intense fighting until Saturday, residents said. Almost all residents in Mongmit have fled as well, they added. 

On Friday night, the junta army retaliated with airstrikes and heavy weapons, destroying the entire Mongmit market, a local who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals told RFA on Saturday. 

“The city’s main market was flattened and turned black. It happened at 6 p.m. Friday. The entire market was burnt. The residents have been allowed to leave Mongmit this morning,” he said. “Everyone has fled the city. [Can you hear] heavy weapon blasts? The planes are passing over our heads this morning and it is fierce.”

Around 150 shops in the market were destroyed by the bombing and only around 200 people out of the city’s 10,000 residents have remained, he added.

During Thursday and Friday’s battles, four people, including an elderly woman and a middle-aged woman from Mongmit city, were killed. At least ten civilians were injured, locals said.

Junta Infantry Battalion 348, as well as Light Infantry 276 and 223 are all based in Mongmit. As of Monday morning, the fighting has been ongoing for five days, locals said. 

The military junta has not released any information regarding the battles in Mansi, Mabein, or Mongmit. Calls to Kachin state’s junta spokesperson Thant Zin Ko Ko, and Shan state’s junta spokesperson Khun Thein Maung went unanswered Monday.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

 

 

 

 

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Kevin C Rose
Feb 11, 2024 12:56 AM

Free Burma! Support the Kachins!
The Kachin were instrumental in the Allied Victory over Imperial Japan.
The US and the Allies owe them a debt of support and gratitude.
Fight for Democracy.