Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers shut down a government checkpoint collecting tax from civilians in Northern Shan state on June 2, according to locals.
In the evening, KIA soldiers from Battalion 36, raided and destroyed the Nam Hu checkpoint, located between Pansai and Mongkoe (Munggu) road.
Three people were detained but later released after they said they weren’t directly involved in the tax collection operation, a KIA officer told Kachin News Group by phone.
The Burmese government was charging three Chinese Yuan (500 Burmese Kyat), according to locals.
Hpawng Seng, another Burmese military checkpoint, close to Nam Hu, was also raided and destroyed by KIA Battalion 36, on April 5.
Now that the checkpoints have been destroyed travel on the Pansai-Mongkoe route for residents and local traders is much easier, according to locals.
The closure of the checkpoints is part of larger KIA operation which aims to limit the deployment of Burmese troops to Kachin positions in six Northern Shan townships (Kutkai, Namtu, Mantong, Nampaka, Muse, Nam Hkam) and Kachin state, along the Mandalay-Muse road near China.
Most of the current fighting has been reported in Namtu, Mantong and Nam Hkam townships, where two pipelines under construction will deliver oil and natural gas from Burma’s western Arakan state to China’s Yunnan province.
The KIA has also started blocking night travel between Muse and Lashio, on June 1.
A series of peace talks between the KIO (Kachin Independence Organisation) and a government peace negotiating team have failed to end the conflict, which erupted nearly one year ago, on June 9, after the government broke a 17-year ceasefire.