50 Myanmar Junta Soldiers Killed in Landmine Attacks

By The Irrawaddy 20 August 2021

Around 50 junta soldiers were reportedly killed and many others wounded in a series of landmine attacks over the previous two days by civilian resistance fighters in Magwe Region’s Gangaw Township.

On Thursday evening, one of six vehicles carrying junta soldiers triggered a landmine planted by the civilian resistance fighters of the People’s Defense Force (PDF)-Gangaw on the Gangaw-Kale Highway. The junta troops were returning from Kale in Sagaing Region to Gangaw.

At least 20 soldiers were killed in the explosion and many others were injured, a PDF-Gangaw spokesperson told The Irrawaddy on Friday.

On Wednesday, two out of over 50 military vehicles travelling to Kale were also attacked with landmines on the Gangaw-Kale Highway. An estimated 30 junta troops were killed and two military vehicles damaged.

However, the Irrawaddy was unable to confirm the military casualties independently.

The PDF-Gangaw spokesperson said that the civilian resistance fighters planted landmines at six locations on the highway to attack junta convoys, but not all exploded.

On Wednesday night, regime soldiers deployed at Hnan Khar Village on the Gangaw-Kale Highway and looted the homes of residents who had fled. A 72 year-old villager left behind in the village was beaten by the soldiers, according to PDF-Gangaw.

“We will fight back until the military regime is gone and our elected government returns to power” said the PDF-Gangaw spokesperson.

Armed resistance against the junta started in late March after the regime began lethal crackdowns against peaceful anti-coup protesters.

Over 1,000 people were killed by junta forces between February 1 and August 19, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Another 7,300-odd people have been detained or have arrest warrants issued against them.

Myanmar military units have been suffering heavy daily losses in battles with civilian resistance fighters and ethnic armed organizations across the country.

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