Regime Soldiers and Pro-Junta Militia Reportedly Killed in Upper Myanmar Raids
By The Irrawaddy 17 February 2022
Resistance groups reported killing over 40 regime troops and militia earlier this week in attacks on two bases of Pyu Saw Htee, a pro-junta militia group, in Sagaing Region’s Pale Township.
Two resistance groups, Myanmar Royal Dragon Army and Myingyan Zero Guerilla Group, raided an outpost of junta soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee fighters near Ziphyugone Village on Tuesday morning.
300 resistance fighters took part in the 30 minute battle. Over 40 military regime soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee fighters were killed in the attack, while another 20 fled the village, which is a Pyu Saw Htee stronghold, said Pale Township People’s Defense Force (PDF) leader Bo Nagar.
“We occupied the base. If we had captured enemies alive, we would have handed them over to the People’s Authority [parallel civilian authorities]. But none of them were captured alive. More than 40 junta soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members died and some 20 others fled. They [junta troops] then retrieved bodies by employing a reconnaissance drone that can also be used to attack,” said Bo Nagar.
One resistance fighter died and four others were injured in the battle, he added.
Resistance groups also attacked a Pyu Saw Htee outpost near Einmahti Village in Pale on Monday, killing at least four Pyu Saw Htee fighters, according to Pale PDF headquarters.
Ziphyugone and Einmahti villages are junta strongholds where the Myanmar military trains and arms pro-regime villagers to become Pyu Saw Htee fighters. Local resistance groups have attacked the two villages around ten times since late January, according to Pale PDF headquarters.
“We have attacked them [Pyu Saw Htee] partly because they support the regime, and partly because they threaten unarmed civilians. They have threatened to shoot villagers from a neighboring village if they come close to Ziphyugone. They have also arrested people out of personal grudges. That’s why resistance fighters have targeted that village,” said a Pale PDF information officer.
Pyu Saw Htee pose a greater threat to local PDFs than junta soldiers because they are also locals and so know the terrain in Pale, he added.
“People are in fear of their lives now. In every village people have packed their belongings and are on standby to flee in case of a raid. As Pyu Saw Htee are locals and they know the routes, people can’t sleep well at night [for fear that Pyu Saw Htee might guide junta troops to raid their villages]. So we have to take decisive action,” said the Pale PDF spokesperson.
At least 800 houses have been torched by junta forces in Pale since January 31, and Pyu Saw Htee fighters were involved in the arson attacks, said local residents and resistance groups.
Over 300 houses were burned down in Mwe Tong and Pann villages on January 31, nearly 200 houses were torched in Kaing Village on February 4, and more than 300 houses were burned down in Hlawga Village on February 5. Junta soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee looted the houses before torching them, said residents.
More than 4,500 houses have been damaged or destroyed in junta arson attacks since last year’s coup, according to Data for Myanmar. Sagaing Region suffered the heaviest damage with 2,567 houses torched by the regime, followed by Chin State with 976 houses, Magwe Region with 626 houses and Kayah State with 310 houses.
Pale PDF leader Bo Nagar said: “We have to fight them in the interests of the people because they are the cruelest group in the country. They rob villages, torch houses, torture villagers, commit sexual assaults. The enemy will surely intensify their attacks. And to gain the country’s independence, we will also have to intensify our attacks day by day.”
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