Around 40 military troops based in Tanintharyi and Magwe regions have reportedly fled the armed forces and joined the uprising against the junta.
The defections came amid heavy daily losses being inflicted on junta forces by civilian resistance fighters and ethnic armed organizations.
Last month more than 740 junta soldiers were killed and almost 370 wounded during 355 shootouts, assassinations and bomb attacks involving ethnic armed forces and the civilian People’s Defense Forces across Myanmar, according to the parallel civilian National Unity Government.
On Thursday morning, around 25 soldiers based in Dawei Township, Tanintharyi Region, abandoned their posts with their firearms, according to the Intelligence Agency in Tanintharyi, which was formed by soldiers who have joined the civil disobedience movement.
The group posted on Facebook on Thursday that the troops were from Battalion 25 in the township.
“The defections have been confirmed. I heard from my friend in the military,” a Dawei resident said. “We don’t know their ranks. They took their weapons.”
Residents told The Irrawaddy regime forces are searching all vehicles and blocking roads in the township since early Thursday.
On Wednesday, around 15 personnel from a military weapons factory in Thayet Township, Magwe Region, have reportedly defected with their weapons.
However, the regime has denied the defections, saying it is propaganda to boost armed resistance against the junta.
It is the latest in a series of military defections. Several hundred soldiers and police have fled their posts since the February coup.
Myanmar Now recently reported that 1,500 soldiers had left the military.
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