Resistance Groups Claim to Have Killed Seven Myanmar Junta Troops in Kayah State

By The Irrawaddy 17 December 2021

Seven Myanmar junta soldiers and a civilian resistance fighter were reportedly killed during firefights in Demoso and Loikaw townships, Kayah State, on Thursday, according to the Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF).

On Thursday morning, the KNDF and Karenni Army (KA), the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, said they ambushed a regime patrol in Demoso.

During 20 minutes of fighting, four regime troops were killed and five wounded while two civilian resistance fighters were injured by junta artillery.

The KNDF said regime soldiers in civilian clothes are sheltering in a Demoso village.

On Thursday another intense firefight broke out in Loikaw Township in the state.

During a prolonged battle, three soldiers were killed, four were injured and a KA soldier was killed.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the reports.

Armed resistance to military rule in Kayah State began in late May and has intensified in recent months.

On Monday, a junta sergeant joined the nationwide civil disobedience movement defying military rule and surrendered to the KNDF.

The KNDF said he was given money as he brought firearms and ammunition with him.

People’s defense forces (PDFs) have continued to attack regime forces in several Sagaing Region townships and in Magwe Region in the last two days, claiming to have killed more than 50 regime soldiers.

The People Revolutionary Army (PRA), a resistance group, claimed to have killed 32 soldiers in eight ambushes and attacks in Pale Township, Sagaing Region, and Myaing Township, Magwe Region, on Wednesday and Thursday.

After a firefight in Myaing Township on Thursday evening, regime forces burned 17 houses in Ngarmyaung village, the PRA said.

Pale PDF said a combined resistance force ambushed a junta vehicle carrying soldiers using six mines on the Pale-Gangaw highway in Pale Township on Thursday morning.

The group reported a later attack on a military convoy on the same highway, saying five vehicles were damaged. The junta’s casualties were unknown.

On Wednesday, 10 junta soldiers were reportedly killed and a vehicle caught fire in a Pale PDF ambush in the township, the group claimed.

On Thursday, fighting was reported in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, when several resistance groups attacked a junta force and militia personnel trained and armed by the military marching beside the Chindwin river to protect a regime flotilla.

Since Dec. 2, eight military boats escorting three barges reportedly transporting jade from Kachin State along the Chindwin have been attacked by PDFs in Mingin and Kani townships.

Mingin PDF claimed to have killed five junta soldiers in an ambush by a combined force on troops in Mingin Township, Sagaing Region, on Thursday.

Regime forces burned down seven Khin-U village houses where they were stationed on Wednesday night in the township, Mingin PDF said.

Regime forces nationwide are reportedly facing attacks from hundreds of PDFs and many ethnic armed groups, including the Kachin Independence Army, Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, Karenni Army and groups linked to the Karen Nation Union.

Junta forces continue to arbitrarily kill civilians, burn civilians alive, use civilian detainees as human shields, bombard residential areas and loot and burn houses, especially Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin, Shan and Kayah states, where the PDFs are most active.

As of Thursday, the junta has killed an estimated 1,345 people and detained 11,009 others, including elected government leaders, since the Feb. 1 coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners that records deaths and arrests.

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