Sagaing Region Resistance Groups Report Heavy Fighting With Myanmar Junta Troops

By The Irrawaddy 16 May 2023

Six days of fighting have been reported by resistance groups in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, after attacks on Myanmar junta troops raiding villages.

Since last Thursday around 120 junta troops and pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militias members have been raiding villages in the south of the township.

Resistance groups from Kani, Salingyi, Yinmabin and Monywa townships have been attacking the troops and evacuating residents.

“Clashes are ongoing but we cannot give details of regime casualties for security reasons,” the head of Kani-based Kyauk Lone Gyi People’s Defense Force (PDF) told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday. He declined to be named.

He said three resistance fighters had been killed and around six injured since May 11.

The regime troops have reportedly killed six villagers, including five girls, and used numerous civilian detainees as human shields to deter the resistance ambushes, according to residents.

Troops also looted houses and stole food in villages.

Over 13,000 villagers in the area have fled their homes amid junta raids and heavy rain and flooding triggered by Cyclone Mocha, said Ko Pyae Aung Naing, an anti-regime protest leader from Kani’s General Strike Committee. They have not returned amid the ongoing fighting.

A clash broke out at Min Ma village on Sunday when resistance groups attacked regime forces who had occupied the village. Many junta casualties were reported. In response, the northwest command headquarters in Monywa town shelled the area and a junta fighter jet dropped bombs amid heavy rain, said the PDF leader.

A resistance fighter was killed and others were injured.

On Monday regime reinforcements arrived from Yinmabin Township.

Two resistance fighters were killed and three others wounded during fighting last Friday.