Burma

Around 120 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Magwe Region: Resistance

By The Irrawaddy 22 November 2021

Around 120 junta soldiers and 15 civilian resistance fighters were reportedly killed during regime raids and airstrikes against the Yaw Defense Force (YDF) in Magwe Region in the past two weeks, according to resistance fighters.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the claims.

After mass civil service resignations, Myanmar’s junta in mid-November escalated operations against YDF-held areas with thousands of reinforcements and the use of air power, a YDF representative told The Irrawaddy.

The YDF member said 70 to 80 percent of judges, police, firefighters and government administrators have resigned after the group told all government staff to quit by Nov 6.

The group said it is helping government staff who resign as part of the nationwide Civil Disobedience Movement. 

On Sunday afternoon, the YDF and another resistance group attacked a five-vehicle military convoy traveling to Gangaw using 12 mines.

The YDF claimed 11 junta soldiers, including an army captain, were killed and 20 others injured when two vehicles were damaged by the blasts.

The group submitted photos of ammunition, two uniforms and two magazines from the ambush.

On Sunday morning, a combined YDF and Kale People’s Defense Force (PDF) group attacked regime forces stationed at Kyaukpyok village near the border with Kale Township in Sagaing Region.

During the raid, five junta soldiers and two Kale PDF members were killed, said the Kale PDF.

It said resistance fighters had to retreat from a village under junta shelling from the small town of Hanthawaddy.

On Friday morning, an intensive firefight between more than 100 regime troops and a combined force of five civilian resistance groups – including two Chin Defense Force (CDF) detachments – reportedly broke out near a village in Saw Township, Magwe Region.

A Saw PDF member told The Irrawaddy that resistance fighters attacked regime forces searching the forests after raiding Tawma village in the township.

It said most of its members are only armed with old-fashioned, homemade hunting rifles and other simple weapons.

After sustaining losses, junta forces used two Mi35 helicopters to attack the PDFs and to evacuate trapped troops.

An estimated 30 to 40 junta troops were killed and many others wounded by shooting and mine explosions, according to the Saw PDF and YDF.

A PDF fighter was seriously injured, the group said.

The Saw PDF claimed a battalion commander and another high-ranking officer were killed.

A military helicopter reportedly crash-landed near the small town of Kyaukhtu after being shot by resistance fighters.

On Friday evening, a military helicopter removed soldiers’ bodies after the fighting, claimed the Saw PDF.

On Monday, more than 100 junta troops, including reinforcements, were still deployed in the area. More than 3,000 residents of five villages have fled their homes, according to the Saw PDF.

On Friday morning, the YDF ambushed a convoy of five military vehicles carrying around 200 troops on the Gangaw-Tilin highway using landmines and grenades, said the group.

Military uniforms and ammunition seized by the YDF during an ambush on regime forces in Gangaw Township, Magwe Region, on Sunday. / YDF

The YDF claimed to have killed 25 junta soldiers and injured many others in the attack without suffering any casualties.

The ambush was in revenge for the killing of five displaced civilians and 14 resistance members during arrests and clashes in Tilin Township, Magwe Region, last week, said the YDF.

Last Wednesday, 14 fighters from the CDF in Mindat and YDF in Tilin, were reportedly killed in fighting with regime forces near Htanpinkone village in Tilin.

Ten junta soldiers were also reportedly killed, the YDF said.

Regime forces are alleged to have killed three displaced civilians last Wednesday and two other civilians last Tuesday.

On Nov. 11, around 15 junta soldiers, including an army captain, were reportedly killed when the YDF ambushed a 30-vehicle military convoy on the Gangaw-Kyaw highway with landmines and homemade bombs, according to the group.

Five of the vehicles were damaged, the group said. On Nov. 10, the YDF claimed to have killed 12 infantry troops on the highway.

Magwe PDFs have urged people not to travel due to potential clashes.

A Saw PDF member told The Irrawaddy: “We must win and have a long-term plan for our revolution. Trust us and supply us as the National Unity Government has difficulties in supplying us.”

Myanmar’s junta is facing growing resistance, including urban attacks, PDFs and several ethnic armed forces across the country, according to the resistance groups.

The regime continued atrocities, including the arbitrary killing of civilians – using civilians as human shields, bombarding residential areas, looting and burning houses and committing sexual violence – especially in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Chin, Shan and Kayah states.

By Monday, 1,286 people had been killed and another 10,380, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the regime, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.


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