Fighting between allied anti-regime resistance forces and junta troops continued to rage Wednesday as a combined force of ethnic Karen armed groups and resistance forces tried to seize a strategic junta outpost near the Thai border in Karen State.
Since Sunday, the KNU’s armed wings, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO), and other Karen resistance forces have been attacking the Ukayi Hta military outpost in Waw Lay in Karen State’s Myawaddy Township.
The regime reinforced the outpost with more weaponry and troops on Wednesday, according to a resident of an area close to the combat zone.
Myo Thura Ko Ko, a spokesperson for Cobra Column, one of the forces fighting along with the KNLA and KNDO, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that the fighting was still going on.
“The allied resistance forces are still trying to seize the Ukayi Hta outpost. The regime forces have attacked with a lot of airstrikes and artillery,” he said.
The allied Karen resistance forces were poised to seize the outpost on Tuesday night but regime forces unleashed a fierce artillery barrage and were able to return to the outpost according to the resident near the area.
The intense fighting has lasted for four days and both sides have suffered causalities.
The outpost is located at the Falu-Waw Lay-Sukali intersection and is of strategic importance. Video files of local residents fleeing the fighting have spread on social media since Sunday.
The KNLA, the KNDO and allied resistance forces captured a military camp in Maw Khee in the KNLA’s Brigade 6 territory, known as Dooplaya District, on March 22. The KNLA and allied resistance forces also seized Thay Baw Boe camp on May 18.
Earlier this month, the KNDO and allied resistance forces also seized Waw Lay Police Station, where junta troops are based. Five junta soldiers were captured, and nine resistance fighters detained there were rescued.