Myanmar forces recapture Kachin militants’ stronghold

Yangon, Dec 18 (IANS) Myanmar forces have occupied Gidon outpost, a stronghold of the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA), in a clearance attack, Myanmar media reported on Sunday.

The government troops managed to take over the outpost and the headquarters on Saturday amid fierce resistance from the KIA, Xinhua news agency reported.

During the crossfire, both sides suffered heavy casualties, the report said, adding that the government troops were still carrying out area clearance operations.

Meanwhile, two explosions hit Kyaukme district police headquarters in northern Shan, blowing away window panes of the office but causing no injuries.

Conflicts erupted in the border area of northern Myanmar’s Shan province on November 20 after rebels’ three armed groups launched attacks on military outposts and police stations in Muse and Kutkai towns and the border trade zone.

Sporadic clashes between the government troops and the three armed groups — Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) –continue.