Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Kayah State Firefight

By The Irrawaddy 9 August 2021

At least 10 military regime soldiers were reportedly killed and others wounded on Sunday in a shootout with ethnic armed groups the Karenni Army (KA) and the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) in Kayah State, southeastern Myanmar.

Civilian resistance fighters and troops from the KNDF and KA, the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, ambushed around 300 junta troops on Sunday morning near the border between Shan State’s Pekon Township and Kayah State’s Hpruso Township.

The KNDF said that the Myanmar military was trying to raid a mountainous area located to the west of Hpruso Township where people’s defense forces (PDF’s) and Karenni armed groups are based.

The firefight lasted about an hour, but junta troops continued firing heavy weapons for around four hours, a spokesperson for the KNDF told the Irrawaddy on Monday.

10 junta soldiers were reported killed and others were wounded, while a number of civilian resistance fighters suffered minor injuries from explosions.

Around 500 residents from three nearby villages fled their homes because of the clash.

Shootouts continued through the afternoon as the junta troops launched raids in the area, according to the KNDF’s statement.

The KNDF said also that several columns of regime soldiers are on the move in Kayah State and are preparing to attack PDF’s in Loikaw and Hpruso townships.

Last week, a series of firefights between junta troops and the KNDF and KA took place in three townships, Demoso, Hpruso and Bawlakhe, over the course of two days.

Around 14 junta soldiers were reportedly killed by the KA and KNDF during the clashes.

Armed resistance to military rule in Kayah State began in late May, following the regime’s brutal crackdowns on peaceful anti-coup demonstrations across the country.

The regime has carried out airstrikes against civilian targets after suffering heavy losses in Kayah State. The fighting in June forced over 100,000 local residents to flee their homes.

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