At least 26 Burmese soldiers died following two successive strikes by Kachin resistance forces on the Loije to Bhamo (or Manmaw) road in eastern Kachin state on Wednesday morning, according to Kachin Independence Army sources.
The troops from the KIA's Battalion 1 who carried out the early morning attacks did so without suffering any casualties, a KIA officer said.
Ten Burmese soldiers were killed during the initial KIA's gun attack on a military post at Pang Shan village, located between Sinlum and Byeng Wai, the KIA officer said. An additional 6 soldiers who rushed to the scene of the attack died after a remote road side bomb was detonated as they approached the scene.
The Loije to Bhamo (or Manmaw) route is one the four main trade routes on the China-Kachin border. All of these routes have been severely affected since fighting broke out in Kachin state in June of last year.
Despite President Thein Sein's much publicized reform agenda the Burmese military has continued its campaign in Kachin state. An offensive that started three months after Thein Sein's nominally civilian took power. Aid groups estimate that since the fighting began last year more than 100,000 civilians have been displaced by the conflict.
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