Junta Forces Suffer Heavy Losses in Southeastern and Western Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 5 January 2022

More than 20 junta soldiers were reportedly killed over the last two days in intense firefights with civilian armed resistance forces in Kayah and Chin States. Another 50-odd regime troops have been killed in Kayah since last Friday.

On Tuesday afternoon, a fierce clash broke out in Shadaw Township, Kayah State when the Karenni Army (KA), the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, attacked a detachment of 300 junta troops marching through the township, according to the Karenni Army Center, the media wing of the KA.

At least 16 junta soldiers, including deputy battalion commander Kyaw Thu Soe, were killed and many others wounded during two hours of fighting, the KA Center said. One KA fighter suffered minor injuries to his leg.

The KA claimed that regime forces left the body of the dead deputy battalion commander at a border guard force camp under Myanmar military supervision.

Junta forces have looted houses and burned down villages during their operations in Kayah State, said the KA.

The armed group predicted that there will be further clashes with regime troops in the near future as a combined force of the KA and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) will respond to the presence of junta forces in Shadaw Township.

Another 50-odd regime soldiers, including a battalion commander, have been killed in Kayah since last Friday, most dying in continuous clashes with combined forces from the KA, KNDF and local People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in Kayah State’s Demoso and Hpruso townships.

Four civilian resistance fighters and KA troops were killed and others injured in the fighting, according to Karenni resistance forces.

After military regime forces lost around 30 killed in a clash in Demoso last Friday, the junta called in two jet fighters to attack the resistance groups.

Deputy Colonel Kyaw Zaya, a battalion commander notorious for leading brutal crackdowns on anti-regime protesters and civilians in Yangon and Kayah State, was reportedly killed during the fighting.

On Monday morning, five regime troops were killed and another 15 injured when civilian resistance fighters from the Chinland Defense Force-Matupi (CDF-Matupi) raided a military base in Htalbwe village in Matupi Township, Chin State.

On the same evening, the CDF-Matupi also attacked a detachment of military reinforcements traveling the Matupi-Hakha Highway.

Two regime soldiers were captured during the fighting, the CDF-Matupi spokesperson told The Irrawaddy.

The resistance group said that it continued to attack the base in Htalbwe Village on Tuesday.

A civilian resistance fighter was injured in the raid. Military casualties are unknown, the spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Regime forces are now facing daily attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed groups nationwide, with the exception of Rakhine State in western Myanmar.

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