Myanmar Regime Troops Take Heavy Casualties in Karen State

By The Irrawaddy 21 December 2022

Myanmar junta forces have suffered heavy losses over the past two weeks in Papun Township, Karen State, according to the Karen National Union (KNU).

A total of 78 clashes between military regime troops and fighters from the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the KNU’s armed wing, took place in Papun between December 1 and December 15, KNU-Mutraw News said on Tuesday. KNU-Mutraw News is the media wing of the KNLA’s Brigade 5, which operates in Papun.

Some 21 Myanmar military forces, including members of its allied border guard units, were killed in the clashes, while 15 others including a major were captured, the KNU said. Three Karen resistance fighters died and 13 others were injured.

The KNU said it managed to destroy seven junta-occupied buildings. The regime retaliated with nine airstrikes on both resistance forces and civilian targets using 64 bombs. Moreover, the junta launched 75 artillery shells in the area, including on civilian targets, killing a civilian and injuring another.

The KNU is Myanmar’s oldest rebel group. Its armed wings have been fighting the junta since March last year, after hundreds of peaceful anti-regime demonstrators were killed across the country.

Many People’s Defense Forces have been trained and armed by the KNU and are collaborating with the Karen resistance in fighting the regime.

By, November, an estimated 7,227 clashes had been reported by the KNU in its territory in Karen and Mon States and Bago and Tanintharyi regions.

At least 6,187 regime soldiers were killed in those clashes and 4,985 injured, while 30 resistance fighters were killed and 60 injured, the KNU said recently.