Kachin Independence Army seizes 10 military bases; India deports Burma refugees

In a significant escalation of hostilities, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has taken control of at least ten military bases, including the strategic 142nd Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) in Momauk Township. The offensive, which commenced on Thursday, marks a bold move by the KIA in Kachin State.

According to reports, clashes between the KIA and Burma Army forces led to the surrender of at least 13 troops from the Burma Army. Civilians in Laiza reported continuous artillery fire from the military, with explosions even witnessed across the border in China.

In response to the escalating conflict, Myitkyina Airport suspended all flights starting Saturday. The violence has claimed lives on both sides, including Shwe Min, the leader of a pro-military Lisu militia, who was killed during clashes in Waingmaw Township.

Meanwhile, India deported its first group of refugees from Burma who had sought refuge following the military coup in 2021. The move, announced by Manipur’s Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, signals a shift in India’s approach towards Burmese refugees.

The decision to deport refugees comes amid ongoing communal violence in Manipur State, which has resulted in nearly 200 fatalities since May 2023. In response to security concerns, India plans to terminate its Free Movement Regime (FMR) with Burma and construct a fence along the 1,643 km-long border, aiming to bolster border security.

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