Myanmar Prison Camp Head Killed With Wife, 11 Police in Resistance Raid

By The Irrawaddy 12 January 2022

The People’s Defense Force (PDF) raided a labor camp in Sagaing Region’s Tamu Township on Monday, killing the prison governor, his wife and 11 police officers, commanding officer Bo Ba Hman of Tamu PDF Battalion 1 told The Irrawaddy.

Two PDF fighters died and four others were also injured in the early Monday morning raid, which ended in a shootout, he added.

“We raided the camp and had gained the upper hand. Some of [the prison guards had been incapacitated]. But then, the prison governor ordered [the guards] not to surrender even if he died. He switched off the electricity, which led to confusion. Then [prison guards] from the guard tower opened fire with a machine gun and both sides were hit in the hail of machine gun fire,” said Bo Ba Hman.

One of the four injured PDF fighters suffered serious injuries, but was not in critical condition, and only one of the bodies of the killed PDF fighters could be retrieved, he said.

“We didn’t have a plan to go this far. We only intended to take control of them and seize their weapons. But things happened unexpectedly and resulted in casualties,” he said.

The labor camp is located some 3.2 km to the east of Wut Shu Village in Tamu. It was established in 1991, and was the first labor camp to be built in Kabaw Valley.

The camp housed a number of political prisoners detained by the military regime after last year’s coup. The attack on a labor camp is believed to be the first of its kind since the coup in Myanmar, though other junta targets are often attacked by resistance groups.

Tamu, a town on the Myanmar-India border, was one of the first towns to take up arms against the military regime. The Tamu PDF Battalion 1 said it would also attack government departments operating under the junta’s administration.

“We will have no more mercy for departmental employees working for the regime as well as military informants and Pyu Saw Htee [militia groups trained and armed by the regime],” said Bo Ba Hman.

“We had invited them to join the civil disobedience movement. But they didn’t join no matter how much we requested, and they have gotten worse. If we still treat them with consideration, our revolution will never reach its goal.”

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