Thursday morning saw troops from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) capture a key Burma army post on the Myitkyina to Putao road in the north of Kachin state. Hka Garan post fell after a one hour firefight, according to local residents.
The post manned which is usually manned by soldiers from the Putao based Infantry Battalion No. 138 was attacked at 5 AM by KIA troops from Brigade 2, a KIA official told the Kachin News Group.
8 Burma army soldiers fell in battle, according to the KIA official who requested anonymity. The KIA also seized 18 MA rifles, 5 cases of bullets, one pistol, one machine gun, several sacks of rice and about 100 military uniforms when they took the post.
Local residents report that the Kachin flag is now flying at Hka Garan post having replaced the Burmese flag.
It is believed that the extra uniforms were stored at the post because soldiers travel to the remote post wearing civilian clothes and then change into uniform upon arrival.
This week marks 11th month of the Kachin conflict. News service AFP reported today that President Thein Sein will now personally oversee peace talks between the nominally civilian government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
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