Tatmadaw Launches Airstrikes Attempting to Retake Strategic Mountaintop in Kachin State

By Network Media Group
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Burma Army pounded Kachin Independence Army (KIA) with jet fighters and artillery fire, while attacking with ground forces for three days near the China border, desperately trying to recapture a strategic mountain position the ethnic armed organization (EAO) seized late last month.

Tatmadaw—as Burma Army are locally called—attacked KIA seven times on April 12 with two jet fighters in combination with ground support, according to Col Naw Bu, spokesperson for Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of KIA. “They bombarded our troops. They also attacked with rockets. It was an intense battle, with clashes breaking out simultaneously at the base of Alaw Bum (mountain).”

According to the KIO spokesperson, six shells fired by Tatmadaw’s artillery battalion in Dawt Hpong Yang landed in a coffee plantation in China.

KIA battalion 25 and 10, and soldiers from Northern Alliance, captured a Tatmadaw camp on top of Alaw Bum, and Mong Pouk and Sheng Htong posts at the base of the mountain. It was a long and coordinated attack starting on the evening of March 24 and lasting until dawn broke.

“Alaw Bum is an essential hilltop position for the area because it is located between Laiza and Mai Ja Yang, along the highway. With it, the Burma Army can cut off Laiza and Mai Ja Yang. From the hilltop, they can launch artillery attacks on KIA camps and IDP (internally displaced persons) camps in Jay Yant and Hpong Long Yang,” a KIA officer told NMG.

Col Naw Bu told NMG British forces were based on the mountain during World War II, and after KIA soldiers. In 1987, Tatmadaw seized it from the EAO. “Now we recaptured this strategic location once again,” he said.

On April 11, KIA Battalion 10 (Brigade 1) ambushed a Tatmadaw convoy traveling between Mali Yang and Sumprabum, in Putao District. On the same day, the EAO attacked a Burma Army convoy heading to Hpakant.