At least eight junta personnel were killed when a combined force of people’s resistance groups attacked a police outpost in Pauk Township, Magwe Region on Saturday, according to the groups.
Members of the Young Revolution Front (YRF), Pauk People’s Defense Force (PPDF), People’s Defence Force – Yenangyaung, and Pakokku District Battalion (7) PDF combined under the leadership of Yaw Defense Force (YDF) to launch the attack in Kaing Lal village, 15 kilometers south of Pauk, at 6am.
“Our combined resistance groups were able to knock out five of the outpost’s six bunkers before destroying the police outpost by setting it on fire,” said YDF commander Ko Myat Thu, adding that the operation was launched to secure resistance groups’ control over the area.
Resistance fighters were then forced to retreat from Kaing Lal on Saturday afternoon when junta forces deployed an Mi35 helicopter from Northwestern Command in Monywa to attack the village and surrounding area. The helicopter strike lasted for around 30 minutes, but no civilians were reported killed since most residents had fled the conflict zone on Nov. 23
The airstrike was followed by a ground arson attack that destroyed at least 50 houses in Kaing Lal after the resistance groups retreated, according to locals.
Residents said the houses were torched by regime troops and pro-junta Pyu Saw Htee militia.
They added that two children were injured by a junta artillery strike as residents returned to the village believing the clash was over.
Two resistance fighters were killed and one wounded in the operation.
The Kaing Lal outpost was notorious as a base for junta police and military violence in southern Pauk Township. Junta forces had torched over 600 houses in the area in the seven days up to Saturday.
The Myaing PDF Battalion (1) responded by launching a drone strike on the nearby police outpost in Zee Pyar village, a training base for Pyu Saw Htee militia. At least five militia members were wounded in the attack.
The Kaing Lal outpost had housed the police and troops responsible for torching Kinma village in June last year, which marked the junta’s first arson attack aimed at burning an entire settlement.
The Kaing Lal junta personnel also trained and organized Pyu Saw Htee militia groups to arrest and kill regime opponents, civilians, and anyone suspected of PDF links. PDFs had attacked the outpost twice previously this year, killing two soldiers in October.