Forty Myanmar Junta Soldiers Killed in 10 Days: Kayah Resistance

By The Irrawaddy 25 May 2023

Resistance groups in Kayah State claim to have killed nearly 40 Myanmar junta soldiers, including officers, since May 14 in Demoso Township.

A large number of troops from three infantry battalions raiding a mountain range in the eastern Demoso on May 14, said the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF), which was involved in the fighting.

The KNDF said it coordinated with the Karenni Army, the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, and Loikaw People’s Defense Force to attack regime forces.

Junta fighter jets conducted about 60 airstrikes and regime units based in neighboring Hpruso and Loikaw townships shelled the mountains, the KNDF said.

The regime planes bombed villages away from the fighting.

After suffering heavy losses, regime forces retreated and suffered further casualties in resistance attacks as they fled, said the KNDF.

Several captains were among at least 40 soldiers killed and many more troops were injured, the group said.

Two regime soldiers were seized alive during the clashes along with 16 weapons and much ammunition, it claimed.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.

Eight resistance fighters were also killed, said the KNDF.

Heavy clashes broke out in the east of Demoso Township in March amid a heavy junta deployment to look for resistance bases. Civilians have been urged to leave the mountains.

After losing control of the ground, the junta has been escalating airstrikes and shelling in Kayah State and adjacent southern Shan State townships, according to rescue groups.

During April the junta conducted 108 airstrikes on Kayah State, as well as in Pekon and Pinlaung townships, in southern Shan State, according to the KNDF.

Many civilian buildings, including hospitals, churches and monasteries, were destroyed.