KIA admits to ambushing police convoy en route to Hpakant
THE Kachin Independence Army has admitted to ambushing a police convoy on August 8 in an attack that wounded nine officers.
KIA spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Naw Bu alleged that the police convoy consisted of militia and military troops. He added that renewed fighting has erupted along the Moekaung-Hpakant highway, where the ambush was staged, and that the Tatmadaw and the KIA have been exchanging fire.
“It is not an unusual attack because there is fighting in the area,” he told The Myanmar Times yesterday.
However, the Kachin State police disputed the KIA’s account. Police Lieutenant Colonel Myo Thura Naung said that over 200 people were in the convoy headed for Hpakant, where they were being deployed for security. He added that six people were injured in the attack, not the nine claimed by the KIA.
“The injured people didn’t suffer seriously. They will recover soon,” said Pol Lt Col Myo Thura Naung. “We plan to send another security force to Hpakant. The military will now have to take charge of security for the police force convoy.”
According to the KIA, a series of clashes between the Tatmadaw and the KIA began on August 8 around Shaduzup village in Tanai township.
Over 800 civilians fled the village to Tanai town, and are in need of food and medical supplies, a local volunteer said.
Ko Mar Nuu, the volunteer assisting displaced villagers, said that while some people returned to their homes yesterday, more than 500 are still in the town because they are afraid of further fighting.
Tatmadaw mouthpiece Myawady reported that clashes also occurred on August 7 near Laiza, the KIA’s headquarters.
On August 8, State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Commanderin-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing met in Nay Pyi Taw, where talking points including the ongoing clashes in Shan and Kachin states.
Colonel Naw Bu yesterday said the KIA would welcome a meeting with the state counsellor and the commander-in-chief.