Over 40 Myanmar Junta Troops Reported Killed in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 7 July 2021

In the latest fighting in Sagaing Region, more than 40 junta troops were killed by civilian resistance fighters in Kawlin Township on Friday and Sunday, residents say.

Three People’s Defense Forces (PDF) members were killed on Sunday, according to a source close to the Kawlin resistance.

Kawlin PDF killed four junta troops and injured 20 more during the clash on Friday at a hill near Thit Seint Gone village in the east of the township, according to a Kawlin resident. On Sunday, more than 40 troops were killed and three military trucks were destroyed near Nyaung Gone and Kokko Gone villages about 16km from the earlier fighting.

It was the first shooting reported in the township, where residents have held peaceful protests against military rule since the coup in February. Kale, Tamu, Yinmabin, Kani, Mingin and Katha township residents have also taken up arms against the junta since late March.

There are rumors that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) helped the PDF in the fighting. KIA troops fought alongside the PDF in Katha in late May.

However, the KIA’s spokesman Colonel Naw Bu denied involvement.

Col Naw Bu said: “The KIA does not conduct joint military operations with the PDF. However, it is possible frontline KIA battalion commanders might have helped the resistance fighters.”

Junta reinforcements arrived in Kawlin Township this week, following the shootouts.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said soldiers raided Nyaung Gone village on Tuesday night. Some 150 to 200 troops arrived in villages in Kawlin from Monywa. They also deployed at a school in Kawlin on Wednesday.

“On Wednesday, they raided villages in the west of the township. Residents are living in fear,” he said.

The resident added that the military has raided nearby villages since Monday. “They shot randomly, prompting villagers to flee but some stayed in their homes. A woman in her 40s was shot dead in Nyaung Gone on the Shwebo-Myitkyina highway.

“She was riding a motorbike with her child when soldiers in a military truck shot at them. The mother was killed,” he said.

Junta reinforcements have been deployed at the township’s hospital and general administrative office (GAD) in Kawlin since March and a mine in the east of the township. On Friday soldiers at the GAD office fired artillery, injuring two people.

Junta raids are being reported in villages across Sagaing Region. Kawlin resident said in early June that troops violently entered a village, detained villagers and used them as human shields.

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