Around 85 junta soldiers were reportedly killed during two clashes with people defense forces (PDFs) in Demoso Township, Kayah State, during the weekend.
Repeated fighting has occurred in the township this month since around 700 regime troops with armored vehicles moved into the township.
Resistance groups said nine hours of fighting between PDFs from Demoso and neighboring Mobye in Shan State, the Karenni Democratic Front (KDF) and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force and more than 200 troops broke out near Phayar Nuogeto village in the east of the township on Sunday.
Around 50 regime soldiers were killed and two captured by the resistance forces, said Demoso PDF.
Firearms and ammunition were also seized and some resistance fighters were injured, the group said. It submitted photos of dead soldiers.
The KDF told The Irrawaddy on Monday that more than 40 regime soldiers were confirmed dead and others were seen injured from a distance.
“If we fail in Demoso, we lose the whole state. The regime knows this and this is why it sends reinforcements to attack us,” a KDF representative said.
After sustaining heavy losses, the junta used two jet fighters in eight bombing attacks on Sunday afternoon.
On Sunday, another prolonged clash was reported between the military and the Demoso PDF, Loikaw PDF and Karenni Generation Z in Thay Suu Lal village in the township.
Demoso PDF said there were military casualties and four resistance fighters suffered minor injuries.
The KDF said clashes continued in the east of the township as regime forces attempted to retrieve the bodies of soldiers killed on Sunday and used artillery on Monday morning.
On Saturday, clashes between regime forces and several resistance groups occurred at Phayar Nuogeto and Thay Suu Lal village in the township.
An estimated 35 regime soldiers were killed while four Karenni resistance fighters suffered minor injuries on Saturday, according to Demoso PDF.
A drone used by the resistance group was shot down by the junta forces.
Demoso was the first Kayah township to report armed resistance to the regime last year and much of the township is held by resistance groups.
The regime is facing attacks from PDFs and many ethnic armed groups and has failed to control the country since it seized power last year. It regularly attacks anti-regime strongholds using airstrikes.
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