Anti-regime resistance fighters in Sagaing Region killed at least 35 junta soldiers during a firefight that lasted around three hours on Monday.
The Civilian Defence and Security Organization of Myaung (CDSO) said in a statement that fighters from 38 people’s defense forces (PDFs) in the region attacked more than 100 regime troops in Myaung Township.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.
“During the three-hour fight, from 35 to 40 regime soldiers were killed and around 70 retreated to nearby villages,” said the statement, adding that two resistance fighters were wounded.
The resistance forces were welcomed by residents, according to pictures posted by the CDSO on Facebook.
Sagaing is Myanmar’s largest region and an anti-regime stronghold. The regime’s spokesman recently admitted that the junta does not control the region, especially rural areas, where residents took up arms last year.
In response, the junta retaliates using airstrikes and artillery during clearance operations in the region. Apart from extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests, troops raided villages and looted property before torching whole villages, claiming they are harboring PDF fighters.
Junta forces burned down at least 11,417 civilian houses across the country by the end of April with Sagaing Region suffering the heaviest damage with around 7,503 houses torched by regime forces, according to independent research group Data for Myanmar.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in its latest humanitarian update on Myanmar that by April 11, 346,000 of the 566,100 people displaced since the military takeover are from Chin State and Sagaing and Magwe regions.
The UN office said the number of displaced by fighting in Chin State, Magwe and Sagaing regions has now exceeded 300,000.
Despite violent crackdowns, Sagaing Region reports daily protests and resistance attacks against military rule.
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