Over 50 Myanmar junta soldiers have reportedly been killed in two days of intense clashes in Sagaing Region. Three resistance fighters also died in the fighting.
At 5pm on Wednesday afternoon, a combined force of 12 People’s Defense Forces (PDF), including ethnic Chin resistance groups, raided military regime soldiers stationed at Tharyargone Village in the south of Sagaing’s Kale Township, according to the PDFs.
Resistance forces had to retreat from the area after regime troops responded with mortar fire, said Kale-PDF, which was involved in the attack.
Fighting between the combined PDFs and junta forces continued on Thursday. The resistance groups were shelled during the firefight by regime forces based at the Technological University and the Myanmar military headquarters in Kale Town.
PDFs responded by counterattacking the junta soldiers at the Technological University with heavy explosives, said Kale-PDF.
During the clashes, 15 regime soldiers were killed, claimed Kale-PDF. Three resistance fighters were killed and 17 others injured, added Kale-PDF.
Regime forces torched houses in Tharyargone Village after the fighting. One resident was killed and another 50 were detained, said the Chinland Defense Force for Kale, Kabaw and Gangaw, who took part in the clashes.
Also on Thursday, Kale-PDF fighters used 12 landmines to ambush a detachment of 60 troops in the north of Kale Township. Some 20 regime soldiers were killed and many others wounded, according to Kale-PDF.
The detachment is an advance unit from a military convoy of 14 vehicles travelling from Sagaing’s Tamu Township to Kale.
After the ambush, regime forces arrested civilians from the nearby 55 Mile Village and also shelled the adjacent Yarzagyo Village. Regime soldiers and Kale-PDF units clashed at Yarzagyo Village, but casualties are still unknown, said Kale-PDF.
Elsewhere in Sagaing, a combined force of PDFs ambushed a detachment of 64 regime soldiers on Thursday morning in Myinmu Township, said Zero Guerilla Battalion 7 from Myingyan Township in Mandalay Region, which coordinated the attack.
Some 17 junta troops died in the ambush, according to Zero Guerilla Battalion 7, who said that a junta helicopter gunship attacked the PDF’s after the ambush.
The resistance groups said that the PDFs ambushed the detachment at close range, while they were traveling on foot after raiding and looting villages in Myinmu.
No resistance fighters were killed or wounded in the attack. However, The Irrawaddy was unable to confirm military casualties independently.
Regime forces are currently facing near-daily attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed organizations across the country.