Myanmar Junta Losing More Than One Soldier Per Day: Kayah Resistance

By The Irrawaddy 6 March 2023

Junta troops lost an average of more than one soldier per day in clashes with resistance forces in Kayah State in February, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).

In February, a total of 45 regime soldiers were killed and 16 wounded in 35 clashes with resistance forces including KNDF across Kayah State and neighboring townships in southern Shan State.

The KNDF has been fighting the junta in the states alongside several People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and the Karenni Army (KA), the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP)’s armed wing.

Two KNDF fighters were also killed in February’s clashes, the resistance group said.

After facing near-daily attacks by the resistance groups, the regime launched repeated artillery attacks and six airstrikes on civilian targets in the three Kayah townships – Loikaw, Hpruso and Demoso – and in Pekon Township in neighboring Shan State.

Eight civilians including children were killed and 12 injured by the indiscriminate junta attacks.

They also destroyed nine homes, a clinic and four religious buildings, said the KNDF.

On Feb. 24, the KNDF and allied resistance fighters managed to seize a military checkpoint at the entrance of Saung Pyaung village in Pinlaung Township, southern Shan State. Regime forces responded by deploying 100 reinforcements including junta-allied Pa-O National Army (PNO) troops, resulting in a week of clashes in the area. After suffering heavy casualties in the clashes, junta forces retaliated with artillery and air strikes.

On Feb. 27, the KA and KNDF jointly attacked a junta outpost near the Thai border in Bawlakhe Township, Kayah State, killing 10 regime troops and seizing a large cache of weapons and ammunition, said the Karenni Military Information Center, the KA’s media unit.

Some fighters from the combined resistance force were then killed and 15 wounded when five junta fighter jets attacked as they prepared to seize another junta outpost nearby.

A total of 1,635 junta troops and 224 resistance forces have been killed in 586 clashes in the state since the February 2021 coup, said the Progressive Karenni People Force Information Center, which monitors the clashes and junta’s atrocities. Also, junta forces have killed 309 civilians while another 130 have died fleeing regime raids and clashes. The junta has detained 279 civilians in the state.

A total of 1,352 homes and 30 religious buildings have also been destroyed by the junta’s bombardments, according to the Karenni rights group.