Another 25 Myanmar Junta Soldiers Killed in Upcountry Clashes

By The Irrawaddy 29 October 2021

25 more junta soldiers were reported killed on Thursday in Sagaing Region, following clashes between civilian resistance groups and regime forces, raising the total number of junta troops killed in Sagaing in the last three days to 85.

Kawlin Revolution (KR), which shares news of the Kawlin People’s Defense Force (KLPDF), had previously reported the killing 40 regime soldiers on Wednesday morning in clashes near Kyunbyintha Village, Kawlin Township in Sagaing. However, KR has since said that a further 20 soldiers were killed in those clashes.

Another 25 military regime troops were killed on Thursday in a follow-up firefight in the east of Kawlin, according to KR. Three civilian resistance fighters were killed in the clash.

A photo showing members of the KLPDF and local residents preparing to cremate several of the dead soldiers was released by KR on Thursday.

The group said that the body of army major Ye Htut Oo, which had been partially buried by retreating junta troops, was also found.

Six military vehicles carrying junta reinforcements arrived in Kawlin early Thursday morning.

On Friday, a local resident told The Irrawaddy that many areas of Kawlin are now under the control of People’s Defense Forces (PDF). PDF checkpoints on roads are inspecting vehicles to stop the transport of illegally-harvested timber and goods destined for the Myanmar military or produced by army-owned companies.

Kawlin Township has been a hotbed of armed resistance to the military regime. In early July, 44 junta soldiers were killed and another 20 injured in clashes with the KLPDF. Three KLPDF fighters died in those battles.

Civilian fighters in Kawlin are now preparing for revenge raids by the regime. KR claimed on Friday that two columns of junta troops are planning to conduct clearance operations in the east and west of Kawlin, one of the columns having passed through neighboring Kyunhla Township.

On Thursday, regime jets conducted airstrikes against PDFs in Kyunhla, while around 100 soldiers were flown in by helicopter as reinforcements, according to local media.

Sharing photos of the helicopter reinforcement mission, Thalarshwemyay, a pro-military Facebook page, said that the troops were flown in as part of “Operation Alongmintayar” to combat PDFs.

Military helicopters opened fire on a rural area of Taze Township, which borders Kyunhla, on Thursday, according to local news sites and the National Unity Government’s (NUG) Defense Ministry.

Myanmar military forces are now facing intense resistance across Sagaing Region.

On Friday morning, a combined force of eight civilian resistance groups destroyed an abandoned police outpost in Myaung Township, Sagaing. The outpost is often used by junta troops during their deployments in the township, a member of the resistance told The Irrawaddy.

Around 14 junta soldiers were also killed in ambushes in Ye-U and Budalin townships, Sagaing on Thursday, according to the NUG’s Defense Ministry and media.

With the exception of Rakhine State, regime forces nationwide are being confronted with increasing attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed groups including the Kachin Independence Army, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the armed wings of the Karen National Union and the Karenni National Progressive Party.

Almost 200 junta soldiers were killed and 44 injured in 127 incidents from October 19 to 25, according to the NUG’s Defense Ministry. They included 25 firefights with PDFs, 13 attacks by ethnic armed forces and 89 assassinations and bomb blasts targeting junta troops.

Regime forces have continued to commit atrocities including raiding and burning down villages, bombarding residential areas of towns and arbitrarily killing civilians, especially in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Chin and Kayah States.

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