After a month-long internet blackout, the People’s Defense Force in Gangaw, Magwe Region, has threatened to destroy telecom masts belonging to Myanmar’s three main operators, MPT, Telenor and Ooredoo, in the township if mobile services are not restored within three days.
Since mid-September, Myanmar’s junta has cut off internet access in several townships in Sagaing Region, Chin State and three Magwe townships – Gangaw, Tilin and Myaing – following regime attacks in the areas.
On Wednesday, Gangaw’s PDF said in a statement that the internet has been down since Sept. 23 and now mobile services have also been cut.
It gave the three operators three days to restore internet and mobile services or face the destruction of their masts.
Most of the masts in the township jointly owned by Myanmar’s military and Vietnam’s defense ministry have already been destroyed by the civilian resistance, according to residents.
“[The three operators] have cut off internet and mobile services on orders from the junta. Residents face regular problems because of the blackout,” a PDF member told The Irrawaddy on Thursday. “The telecom masts offer us no benefits because they are not in use.”
He declined to comment on possible attacks on telecom masts.
A PDF leader in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that the resistance has directly urged telecom operators to restore internet services.
Meanwhile, civilian resistance groups across the country continue to destroy masts belonging to junta-run Mytel.
By mid-September, more than 80 Mytel masts had been destroyed across the country.
On Wednesday morning, a Mytel mast was blown up in Padaung Township, Bago Region.
On Tuesday night, two combined civilian resistance groups destroyed a Mytel mast in Pauktaw village, Yesagyo Township in Magwe Region.
Meanwhile, military products and businesses are being targeted by resistance groups.
On Tuesday, the Kantbalu Underground Warriors, a civilian resistance group, claimed to have destroyed a power line supplying a sugar mill run by the military-owned Myanmar Economic Corporation in Kantbalu Township, Sagaing Region.
The group said the military confiscated more than 400 hectares of farmland owned by civilians to build the sugar mill.
The PDF in Kawlin destroyed beer produced by a military-owned brewery in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Region, on Sept. 17 after seizing three trucks loaded with beverages on the Shwebo-Myitkyina highway.
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