Pekon Resistance Claims 31 Myanmar Junta Deaths

By The Irrawaddy 14 March 2023

At least 31 Myanmar junta troops and four resistance fighters were killed during weekend clashes in Pekon Township, southern Shan State, according to resistance groups.

(Left) Junta soldiers who were detained by resistance forces during the clashes in Pekon Township, Shan State on Sunday. (Right) A junta soldier who was killed during the clashes in Pekon Township, Shan State on Sunday. / PKPDF 2

On Sunday, Division 66 troops raided the hills in the east of the township and detained displaced people sheltering in the hills.

That afternoon a clash broke out on a hill when the Pekon People’s Defense Force (PDF), Urban Revolutionary Front and Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) attacked regime forces to rescue displaced people being held hostage.

Twelve regime soldiers were killed and 10 injured, said Karenni Military Information Center, the media arm of the Karenni resistance groups.

Junta troops in Pekon shelled resistance forces and two junta jets bombed the resistance forces, said Pekhon PDF, which coordinated the attacks.

One Pekhon PDF and two KNDF fighters were killed.

The PDF said regime forces killed two citizens, aged 81 and 78, and a grade 7 child during their raid on the displacement camp. Some civilian detainees escaped.

“The child was their grandchild. The two grandparents are believed to have been burned alive by junta soldiers. They also burned four tents,” a representative of Pekhon PDF told the Karenni’s Voice media group.

On Saturday a firefight broke out in the mountainous east of the township when Pekhon PDF and other resistance groups attacked regime forces in the forests.

Six regime soldiers were reportedly seized and the others retreated, according to Pekhon PDF.

A PDF video shows captured soldiers and others dead. A resistance fighter is telling junta troops: “Take it easy. We will not hurt you. We are not cruel.”

On Sunday morning a firefight broke out nearby when resistance forces attacked regime troops who fled Saturday’s clash.

A Pekhon PDF fighter was killed. Resistance forces seized 19 junta bodies, including an officer, along with weapons and ammunition.

Heavy clashes have been reported since the last month in Kayah State and neighboring southern Shan State as junta deploys 12 military columns to the resistance strongholds.