A prominent leader of a resistance group in Sagaing Region has called on other armed groups and the public across Myanmar to accelerate attacks on anyone affiliated with the military regime.
On Tuesday, Bo Nagar, the commander of the Myanmar Royal Dragon Army (MRDA), said it is time to attack junta soldiers and collaborators to weaken and isolate the regime by occupying offices and other power bases across the country.
“We are stepping up our attacks on the junta,” he said.
The announcement came a day after his group claimed to have killed more than 30 junta troops approaching a village in Pale Township, Sagaing Region, in two ambushes.
He said collaborators included the relatives of soldiers and police, junta administrative and revenue staff, telecoms operators who share users’ secrets with the regime and cut off internet access and bankers who seize and control public funds for the authorities.
“They are traitors of the people. They betray civilians, help run the junta’s repressive mechanism against the public and enable the military dictatorship to survive,” Bo Nagar told The Irrawaddy.
“I urge all resistance forces, our comrades, in other areas to step up action against them,” he said, adding that the results will be visible within a month.
He said detained collaborators will face trial in civilian courts in liberated territories under the supervision of the shadow National Unity Government (NUG).
“People must have the courage to join our activities to achieve peace,” Bo Nagar said, calling on the public to report collaborators to resistance groups.
His call coincides with a rising number of attacks, increasingly taking control of territory, especially in rural areas.
Bo Nagar used to lead the Pale People’s Defense Force, which has been inflicting casualties on regime troops since last year.
Amid rising resistance in Sagaing Region, he has risen in prominence and the junta has attempted to capture him. He has commanded the MRDA, which is under the NUG’s command, since its formation in January.
The MRDA has attacked outposts held by the regime and Pyu Saw Htee, a pro-junta militia, in Pale and ambushed junta forces raiding villages and burning civilian houses.
In February, the MRDA said it attacked two bases near Ziphyugone and Einmahti villages alongside another resistance force and left around 40 regime troops and Pyu Saw Htee members dead.
Ziphyugone and Einmahti villages are junta strongholds where pro-regime villagers are trained and armed to join the Pyu Saw Htee.
Since seizing power on Feb. 1 last year, the junta has killed at least 1,773 people, including more than 100 children and arrested more than 13,000 people.
The regime has burned down at least 9,187 civilian homes, with the resistance stronghold of Sagaing Region suffering the heaviest damage, according to the independent research group Data for Myanmar.
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