Fighting Intensified as Civilian Forces Clash With Myanmar Junta

By The Irrawaddy 19 November 2021

More than 80 junta soldiers and 14 civilian resistance fighters were reportedly killed during clashes with People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) in Sagaing and Magwe regions during three days this week.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the reports.

On Friday, a fierce clash between regime forces and several civilian resistance groups, including fighters from Chin State, occurred in Saw Township, Magwe Region.

In the firefight, the regime used helicopters to bombard civilian forces, the groups said, providing video evidence.

Saw PDF said on Friday that there were at least 20 military casualties and some civilian fighters were killed or injured.

“The junta attacked us and military reinforcements are arriving. The whole area is under attack from the junta. The junta is using helicopters,” a Yaw Defense Force (YDF) representative told The Irrawaddy.

On Wednesday, 14 civilian fighters and 10 regime troops were killed in a firefight with the YDF near Htanpinkone village in Tilin Township, Magwe Region, according to the YDF.

On Wednesday and Tuesday, the YDF in Tilin claimed five displaced civilians were killed by regime forces in the township.

A police officer was allegedly killed and a police captain wounded when the Gangaw PDF attacked the police on a motorbike in Kanywar village, Gangaw Township in Magwe Region on Thursday evening.

After the incident, the police raided the village and burned down seven houses, according to residents.

“Villagers had to flee as police opened fire on everything they could see, injuring a villager,” a resident told The Irrawaddy.

About seven houses and two motorbikes were destroyed by the police and a cow was shot dead, the resident said.

On Thursday afternoon, a fierce shootout was reported at a police station in Yesagyo Township, Magwe Region, in a raid by two civilian resistance groups.

After an hour-long firefight, the attackers occupied the police station, said the Yesagyo PDF.

In the shootout, two junta police were killed and another two wounded while the other police officers fled.

Yesagyo PDF said it burned down the police station after seizing police equipment, including an air gun, ammunition, a laptop and motorbikes.

On Thursday, two junta troops were killed when Yesagyo PDF ambushed a military vehicle using two landmines.

On Nov. 13, four resistance forces, including Yesagyo PDF, occupied and burned down a police station in the township after another battle with junta police.

Fighting has been reported in Kale Township, Sagaing Region, since Tuesday when regime force killed three Kale PDF medics and detained nine of its female members.

On Thursday, Kale PDF attacked the regime troops who seized its members while they were based in Nagarpwat village, Kale Township.

Kale PDF said it ambushed military reinforcements trying to reach Nagarpwat using three landmines, killing about 15 troops. After the ambushed, regime forces attacked nearby Chinsai village and torched 10 houses, the PDF said.

On Wednesday, the combined Kale PDF and Chin National Defense Force attacked regime troops who raided a PDF camp and detained the nine PDF medics. In the fighting, 17 junta soldiers were killed and one civilian fighter injured in junta shelling, the group said.

Two junta soldiers were killed and three others wounded when a combined resistance force attacked junta sentries in Tahan ward, Kale Township.

Around 15 junta soldiers were reportedly killed in ambushes and firefights with resistance groups in Tigyaing, Ye-U and Katha townships, Sagaing Region, on Thursday and Wednesday, according to the parallel National Unity Government’s ministry of defense.

The military regime is facing increasing attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed groups across the country.

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