Over 40 Myanmar Junta Soldiers Killed in Ambush

By The Irrawaddy 6 October 2021

Over 40 junta troops were reportedly killed and another 30 injured on Tuesday evening in an ambush by civilian resistance fighters in Gangaw Township, Magwe Region, according to the Yaw Defense Force (YDF).

YDF said that its members ambushed a military convoy of 50 vehicles, including armored cars, with 14 landmines while it was travelling on the Gangaw-Pale Highway. Over 40 soldiers were killed, 30 injured and five vehicles and an armored car were damaged in the attack.

However, The Irrawaddy was unable to confirm the regime casualties independently.

A statement by the YDF said that its civilian resistance fighters were able to escape the scene, despite junta forces randomly opening fire with automatic weapons and grenades.

YDF has urged people to avoid using the Gangaw-Kale and Gangaw-Htilin highways due to the potential of being caught in the crossfire between junta troops and local people’s defense forces (PDF’s).

Another military convoy of around 18 vehicles was also ambushed on Tuesday evening on the Gangaw-Kale Highway. The convoy was travelling from Kale Township in Sagaing Region to Gangaw.

A civilian resistance fighter told The Irrawaddy that two vehicles were damaged in the landmine attack and that the military suffered some casualties.

One of the military regime’s most notorious commanders, Lieutenant General Than Hlaing, the chief of the Myanmar Police and the junta’s Deputy Home Affairs Minister, has now been assigned to take charge of operations against PDF’s in Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin State, according to a former army captain who defected from the military after the February 1 coup.

Almost 1,100 junta troops have been killed in those areas in the last three months alone. The Myanmar military has also sent 3,000 reinforcements to Sagaing, Magwe and Chin.

Since the second week of September, internet and mobile phone services have been blocked by the regime in most townships in the regions and states where PDFs are most active. Junta forces have used heavy explosives, jet fighters and helicopters in the clashes with civilian resistance fighters, as well as burning down villages and bombarding the residential areas of towns.

As of Tuesday, 1,158 people have been slain since the coup by regime forces during their raids, crackdowns, arrests, interrogations and random shootings, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Another 8,756 people, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta or face arrest warrants.

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