At least 16 military troops were reportedly killed and several were wounded during a series of shootouts with civilian resistance forces of Kani Township, Sagaing Region on Thursday and Friday, according to local residents.
On Friday, about five shootouts between junta troops and civilian resistance forces of Kani Township occurred when the troops, vowing retribution, conducted searches for civilian forces who had attacked the troops on May 6.
A member of civilian resistance force of Kani told The Irrawaddy that three shootouts occurred in the forest along the Monywa-Kalaywa highway on Friday. Two more shootouts occurred at Kyauklonegyi Mountain near Chaung Ma village and at a forest near Thaminchan village in the township.
During the shootouts, junta troops used heavy explosives, making use of drones to locate the civilian forces.
In the shootouts at Kyauklonegyi Mountain, at least eight military troops were killed and several were wounded. About seven members of the civilian resistance force were killed, the source told The Irrawaddy.
In Thursday’s clashes, about eight military troops and two villagers who fought back against the junta’s force were reportedly killed, according to local residents.
However, The Irrawaddy was not able to confirm the casualities of both sides independently.
“We will keep fighting them until our elected civilian government returns,” a member of Kani’s civilian resistance force said.
In a military regime press conference Friday concerning the armed resistance in Chin State and Sagaing Region, Major Kaung Htet San told the media that the military will not tolerate any armed resistance on the part of the people.
“Since we also don’t tolerate any criminal activities, we will wipe them out by all means [necessary] as we are supposed to do,” the major said.
Taking up homemade percussion lock firearms, more than two hundred of the civilian resistance forces from several villages also conducted defensive actions against more than 50 military reinforcements travelling on vessels in the Chindwin River near the Upper Kin village on Thursday afternoon, according to residents.
The military reinforcements reached the area after their two vessels carrying explosive chemicals became stranded on a sandbank near the village after being attacked by resistance forces.
Local residents said that resistance forces managed to destroy some explosive materials by throwing them in the river.
During hours-long shootouts, two members from the resistance forces and two military troops were reportedly killed, according to the residents. After the shootouts, the military troops have been deployed at the Upper Kin Village since Thursday evening.
Due to the raid, around three thousands of villagers from Kin, Upper Kin and Michaungtwin villages fled their homes on Thursday evening.
A resident of Upper Kin village told The Irrawaddy that several hundred villagers, including children and elderly people, are now living in the forest. They have only the clothes on their backs since they had to flee their homes urgently due to the shootouts.
“Now we are worried about food for tomorrow. We are also concerned for our children including infants that they would contract malaria in the forests. We have no medicine,” the villager said.
On Thursday morning, a shootout between resistance forces and military troops travelling with vehicles took place along on Monywa- Kalaywa highway near the Chaung Ma village in the township.
During the shootout, two military troops were killed and a military vehicle was burned, a resident told the media.
Military-run newspapers also said that two military troops were injured when 30 “armed rioters,” a military euphemism for civilian resistance forces, attacked troops travelling in the Chindwin river near Ketaung Village in Kani Township about 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.
On April 15, at least six civilians also were killed near the Chaung Ma village in the township during a shootout between the junta’s forces and a civilian protection group formed by anti-regime protesters.
The shootout came after the regime forces detained more than 70 protesters, including leading members of the protest committee in Kani Township.
Also, villagers of Chaung Ma had to flee their homes since military troops had deployed in the village following the shootout.
In several townships of Sagaing, Magwe regions and Chin State, people are resisting the junta troops by taking up the homemade percussion lock firearms and slingshots.
You may also like these stories: