Around 30 Myanmar junta soldiers were reportedly killed on Tuesday in fierce fighting with a combined group of People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in Kani Township, Sagaing Region.
Civilian resistance fighters from seven PDFs in Kani and Yinmabin townships ambushed a detachment of 86 regime troops on Tuesday morning near a village around four kilometers east of Kani Town.
The detachment was traveling along the banks of the Chindwin River as part of a force protecting military regime ships transporting jade south from Kachin State.
During the seven-hour firefight 30 junta soldiers including a captain were killed and many others were injured, claimed Kyauklonegyi PDF, who coordinated the ambush.
The Irrawaddy was unable to confirm junta casualties independently.
Kyauklonegyi PDF said four resistance fighters were injured in a regime drone bombing attack.
The spokesperson for Kyauklonegyi PDF told The Irrawaddy that they witnessed many injured and dead soldiers being taken to a nearby village during the firefight.
However, the PDF force was unable to seize the weapons and equipment left behind by the retreating soldiers due to an attack by a Myanmar military MI 35 helicopter gunship.
Junta reinforcements subsequently detained seven displaced villagers and used them as human shields while occupying the nearby village, forcing the PDFs to retreat.
“We also canceled our plans for mine attacks against the junta reinforcements after they detained civilians and used them as human shields, said the Kyauklonegyi PDF spokesperson.
Kani Township is a stronghold of armed resistance against the regime, with attacks targeting junta forces taking place from 2 April 2021.
Currently, the regime is facing daily attacks nationwide from PDFs and ethnic armed organizations.