Seven Burmese soldiers, including a captain, have been captured by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) after two days of fighting at Hka Ya, near the Kachin headquarters at Laiza, in Burma’s Northern Kachin State, KIA officials said.
The captive soldiers are from Infantry Battalion No. 21, based in the Kachin capital, Myitkyina. They were captured with 19 weapons, including two machine guns, a 60 mm mortar and the main military communication device, according to KIA officials in Laiza.
KIA officers added the entire Burmese battalion seemed to collapse because most of the troops were wounded and killed by the Kachin army.
The fighting started on Saturday, July 16, when government troops tried to enter Laiza, the KIA’s restricted area. It was the largest battle of the weekend, said the Kachin News Group’s reporter in Laiza.
On the KIA side, Lieutenant Awng Ja, who was wounded by a Burmese mortar shell, died at the Laiza hospital, a KIA officer said.
The captive Burmese soldiers are being detained at the KIA’s prison in Laiza, according to the KNG reporter.
At a public meeting at Laiza on July 12 and 13, the leaders of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of the KIA were informed by Kachin delegates that the current war should not be stopped without a genuine political dialogue with the government.
The fighting increased soon after the Kachin people rejected renewed ceasefire talks with the government.
At the same time, the war has gradually increased in intensity in three major areas in Kachin State, the Sinbo area in Mohnyin Township, Manmaw (Bhamo) District and Waingmaw Township, according to local people.