Around eight soldiers were killed in a mine attack in Gangaw Township, Magwe Region during a junta offensive against the Yaw People’s Defense Force (YPDF) Battalion No. 1 last weekend.
A front-line military convoy heading to Gangaw from Kyaw, a small town in the township, planned to attack the YPDF battalion on Saturday morning. After receiving a tipoff, all of the battalion’s personnel including its commander were evacuated before the junta soldiers arrived.
Landmines were planted at the entrances and exits of the battalion’s base and at least five exploded when the junta troops entered.
Ko Yaw Lay, the head of the YPDF, said, “Eyewitnesses said they carried away the bodies of eight soldiers. Moreover, at least three soldiers were wounded during a guerilla attack by the YPDF near Mae Village on the Pale-Gangaw Highway on the same day.”
On Sunday, the YPDF used mines to attack a convoy of nearly 100 military vehicles near Mae Village, destroying a military vehicle and injuring at least five soldiers. That convoy had been heading towards Gangaw from the military’s Northwestern Command Headquarters in Monywa in Sagaing Region via the Pale-Gangaw Highway since May 27. It arrived in Kyaw last week.
“That convoy carrying supplies of food, ammunition and troops arrived in Gangaw on Sunday and then left for Kyaw on Monday. Our Yaw region is the main gateway to Chin State. There are a lot of People’s Defense Force groups in Yaw region and it is also a major area for transportation. This may be why the military has been conducting more offensives in our region recently,” Ko Yaw Lay said.
As the convoy was traveling to Gangaw Township, regime troops torched more than 100 houses in five villages on the Pale-Gangaw Highway last week. They also arrested 15 civilians last weekend, according to local resistance forces.
Thousands of civilians from six villages in Tilin and Gangaw townships have been forced to flee their houses since last week.
Yaw region is a geographically central area that includes Gangaw, Kyaw, Tilin and Saw townships in Magwe Division.
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