Fighting with Myanmar’s Junta Continues in Southern Shan State

By The Irrawaddy 26 May 2022

Fighting between Myanmar’s junta and resistance forces in Kayah and Shan states has continued in southern Shan State for more than two weeks, causing tens of thousands of civilians to flee their homes.

Fighting broke out in Pekon one day after resistance fighters attacked a junta outpost at Hti Yi village in Nyaung Shwe Township on May 12.

The junta deployed two detachments of around 100 troops each.

The Pekhon People Defense Forces (PDFs), Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, Loikaw PDF, Moebye PDF, Inle PDF, 1,005 and 1,008 Battalions of Infantry Southern Shan have been battling the junta.

Junta artillery and airstrikes have been heavily used and about six resistance troops and less than 25 regime soldiers have been killed, according to Pekon PDF.

Four soldiers, including a major, were killed on May 15.

There have been about 20,000 refugees from 35 villages in the township fleeing the fighting, according to the Karenni Refugee Supporting Network.

“There are about 5,000 displaced civilians in west Pekon and most could not carry anything. We need waterproof sheets, food and clothes,” the group said.

Fighting spilled into Shan State from the resistance stronghold of Kayah State in April when resistance groups attacked a military outpost at Pin Pon village in Pinlaung Township.

On May 1, the resistance attacked the security forces at Laneli bridge in Pinlaung Township about a two-hour drive from Naypyitaw.

The junta began clearance operations in Kayah State last year.

The fighting prompted about 200,000 Kayah villagers to flee their homes by the end of April, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group.