Fighting between Myanmar’s junta troops and resistance forces has lasted for a week in southern Kale, Sagaing Region.
Clashes broke out on April 27 near the village of Ashae Si. Junta troops reportedly shelled the village the whole night on April 30. On May 1, around 200 junta troops raided the village and torched houses, said Ko Ei Soe from Kale Township People’s Defense Force (PDF).
“The regime attacked Ashae Si and shelled the village the whole night and the PDF defended the village. They had to withdraw after junta troops continuously fired artillery. As soon as junta soldiers entered the village, they torched houses,” he said.
Regime troops suffered heavy casualties when they clashed with PDFs near Ashae Si last year and junta troops attacked again in retaliation, according to the Kale PDF.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.
The coalition of PDFs from Kale, the Chinland Defense Force in Kale, Kabaw and Gangaw, Ranger Kale Defense Force, Chin Nationalities Defense Force and other resistance groups clashed through the day with junta troops on May 1.
While fighting resistance forces in Ashae Si, junta troops continuously fired artillery at Yay Shin and Nwar villages.
A 15-year-old girl was killed and a 10-year-old girl seriously wounded by artillery in Yay Shin.
On May 2, junta troops fired artillery at Sha Poe. Around 300 junta soldiers advanced on Sha Poe at noon. They were intercepted by resistance forces and the two sides engaged in fierce fighting until the evening.
Junta troops suffered heavy casualties and weapons and ammunition were seized, said Kale PDF. Some resistance fighters were injured by artillery, said the group.
Regime troops and resistance forces clashed around Ashae Si, Doe Nwe, Kyaukgu and Sha Poe villages on Tuesday and the regime reportedly used helicopters.
“Junta troops fired artillery since this morning indiscriminately. They attacked with two helicopters near Sha Poe at noon,” said Ko Ei Soe of Kale PDF on Tuesday.
When fighting broke out near Ashae Si and Doe Nwe on April 27, villagers fled across the Myittha River over a small bamboo bridge. Seven villagers, including children, were swept away when the crowded bridge collapsed.
Neighboring villagers have also fled the clashes. The PDF Kale on April 28 warned people not to travel on the Kale-Gangaw road until further notice as more fighting is expected.
There were reports that the junta’s leadership has ordered the crushing of the resistance movement in Kale, which is strategically located at the border of Sagaing, Magwe and the Chin hills.
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