Kokang Army Claims to Have Killed 198 Myanmar Junta Soldiers
By The Irrawaddy 30 November 2021
An estimated 198 junta soldiers have died in fighting with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in northern Shan State since July, according to the ethnic armed group, which is commonly known as the Kokang Group.
There were 263 clashes between junta troops and the MNDAA in Mongkoe Township since early July, in which 198 junta soldiers died and some 700 were injured, according to MNDAA spokesman Li Tianfu.
Mongkoe is crucial to border trade with China.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the reports.
The MNDAA suffered more than 10 deaths and more than 50 members were injured in the clashes, he said.
“We withdrew our troops to step up efforts to contain coronavirus. But the SAC [State Administration Council] has continuously attacked and we had to repulse the attacks. That’s why clashes are happening continuously,” said Li Tianfu.
The MNDAA stands by Myanmar’s people who are fighting for democracy, he said, accusing the junta of attempting to crush the armed revolutionary groups seeking a federal democracy.
It has taken control of most of Mongkoe and will repulse any junta attack, he added.
“We have been active in Mongkoe for a while. The authorities learned about our presence in the area when we took coronavirus preventative measures in the town. The junta then started to attack us and we had to fight back,” said the spokesman.
Fighting was reported in several locations on Nov. 24, with neither side reporting casualties. The regime fired more than 60 artillery rounds following the fighting, according to the MNDAA.
The Irrawaddy was unable to contact the regime for a comment on Mongkoe.
However, at a recent SAC press conference in Naypyitaw, regime spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun reported frequent clashes with the MNDAA in Shan State, with the armed group using increasing amounts of firepower.
He questioned how the armed group had obtained the additional weapons.
Maj Gen Zaw Min Tun did not give details of junta casualties.
More than 10 battalions from junta’s Divisions 77 and 99 are deployed in Mongkoe, according to the MNDAA.
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