Karen Resistance Groups Report Heavy Fighting With Myanmar Junta

By Hein Htoo Zan 28 December 2022

At least 25 Myanmar junta troops have been killed in two weeks of clashes with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and resistance groups in Kawkareik Township, Karen State, according to the rebel forces.

The KNLA and its resistance allies attacked Infantry Battalion 231 on December 16, prompting junta shelling and airstrikes on Kawkareik town and along the Kawkareik-Myawaddy highway, according to the KNLA.

“Our initial attack was not major but we think the junta is heavily attacking us since after the US passed the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act]. We expect the fighting to continue,” said Colonel Saw Win Kyaw of the Albino Tiger Battalion, which fights with the KNLA Division 6.

Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 104 has been fighting near Shwe Kyat Min pagoda in Kawkareik Township since Tuesday.

The area is held by the KNLA Division 6. An estimated 15 junta troops have been killed and around 25 injured, according to the KNLA.

“As they were suffering many casualties they deployed an Mi-35 helicopter. A colonel and around seven other troops from LIB 97 were injured while arriving as reinforcements,” said a KNLA Division 6 source.

Residents say the junta aims to retake the township and it is targeting civilian areas with shelling and airstrikes.

On December 22 there was fighting on the Kawkareik-Myawaddy highway with one Albino Tiger fighter being injured.

On December 22 and 23 junta troops almost reached Kot Nwae village but around six troops were killed. On December 24 the regime attacked with two armored vehicles.

The Golden Eagle drone force destroyed one of the vehicles with a 60mm shell, killing two junta troops and injuring four others, according to the News and Information of the Southern Military Region, a communication channel for resistance groups in the area.

An estimated 2,000 residents have fled the township and they need food and medicine, according to resistance groups.