One of two Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers missing after an attack on their post last week by government troops has been confirmed dead. The KIA soldiers were last seen alive manning the Dagaw Mada post on the Bhamo-Loije road in northern Kachin state on Friday, according to their commander from KIA 3rd Brigade. It remains unclear what happened to the other missing soldier.
Officer Zau Shan told the Kachin News Group (KNG) that a KIA soldiers named Mahka Ma Yung was killed and his rifle (a Kachin made modified Chinese Type 81 assault rifle) was captured by troops from the Burma Army’s Light Infantry Battalion No. 319 based in Mansi.
On Friday morning an army column consisting of what the KIA estimates to have been 50 soldiers made a sudden attack capturing KIA Dagaw Mada post. At the time of the attack the six KIA soldiers guarding the post were having breakfast, according to KIA battalion 1 commander Major Hpaujang Yaw Htung.
No fighting has happened in the area since the attack on the post took place, Zau Shan told KNG.
Heavy fighting did however take place on Saturday, for the second straight day, at Nam Gau in an area controlled by KIA battalion 12 in southern Kachin state's Mansi township, said KIA officer Zau Shan. It remains unclear if there were casualties on either side from this fighting. According to officers from the KIA 3rd brigade the latest round of fighting broke out because government forces attacked the KIA.
Frontline troops remain under strict orders from their superiors at the KIA's Laiza headquarters not to attack government forces, KIA personnel tell KNG.
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