The fighting was between the Burmese Army’s Momauk-based Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 437 and the Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) Battalion No. 15, under Brigade 3, at the KIA-controlled Sang Gang Village in Momauk Township in Bhamo District, according to KIA officials at the Laiza headquarters, in eastern Kachin State.
The fighting was located close to the Taping River on the road heading to the Taping No. 1 and Taping No. 2 hydropower plants, from Myitkyina-Bhamo Highway. The two hydropower plants were constructed by the China Datang Corporation (CDT).
According to a KIA official in Laiza, this morning’s fighting intensified when over 200 Burmese troops marched into the KIA’s Sang Gang Post and started shooting at the KIA post near Prang Kadung Village.
At least three Burmese soldiers were killed and six injured in the morning fighting. However, only two KIA were injured, a KIA officer in the frontline said.
The major fighting stopped this morning. However, shots can be heard occasionally, KIA officials said.
Yesterday, the KIA’s Battalion 15 arrested three Burmese soldiers, including two officers, from LIB No. 437. They were carrying two machine guns and two pistols, said KIA officers.
An armed Burmese soldier was arrested in the morning when he and his comrade entered the KIA controlled area. However, his comrade escaped, after throwing away his gun.
His two officers were arrested in the evening when they entered the KIA controlled area to secure the release of the captive soldier, carrying two machine guns, added KIA officers.
The KIA officers in Laiza said all three were arrested for security reasons and negotiations regarding the captive Burmese soldiers are still taking place.
Small skirmishes between the Burmese army and KIA gradually increased in the KIA’s Brigade 3 area, in eastern Kachin State, and Brigade 2, in Western Kachin State.
All KIA troops in Kachin State and Northern Shan State have been on alert to stop government troops by force when they try to enter KIA territories.