Myanmar’s military used two newly-acquired Su-30 fighter jets from Russia against Kachin Independence Army (KIA) targets in Kachin State’s Mohnyin Township last week, according to KIA information officer Col. Naw Bu.
The jets bombed the Indawgyi Lake region in Mohnyin twice last Thursday, at 1pm and 2pm, but failed to hit their targets both times, he said, adding that the military appeared to be “testing” the jets.
The jets were among six that the Myanmar military contracted to buy in January 2018. They were delivered this year, despite the coup in February.
The attacks, which were directed at KIA Battalion 26, were likely intended as retaliation for an ambush on a military column that was marching near the village of Taunggadone in Shwegu Township on November, according to Col. Naw Bu.
“Shwegu is on the border with Sagaing Region, so I think the military was worried about us infiltrating into Sagaing,” the KIA information officer told Myanmar Now.
He added that the KIA clashed with around 100 junta soldiers near Kachinthay, a village about 16km east of the town of Shwegu, on Thursday afternoon, after the aerial bombardment in Mohnyin.
Heavy artillery was used in that clash, he said.
He declined, however, to comment on rumours that the KIA was cooperating with members of the anti-regime People’s Defence Force in Shwegu. He also did not provide casualty figures from last week’s clashes.
According to the KIA, the military deployed its fighter jets against the group’s Battalion 26 on October 6. No details about that attack were provided.
Regime spokespeople were not available for comment on any of the recent incidents in Kachin State.
The KIA has not released any statement regarding its military and political collaboration with Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government (NUG).
When the NUG announced a nationwide people’s “resistance war” on the junta on September 7, it said that it had formed a central military committee that included ethnic armed organizations, but did not disclose which groups were involved.
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