Three Junta Troops Killed in Clashes With Kayah Resistance Fighters

By The Irrawaddy 22 May 2021

At least three military regime troops were killed and some security outposts seized by the People’s Defense Force (PDF) formed by civilian resistance fighters in Demoso Township, Kayah State during clashes on Friday.

A series of clashes broke out in Demoso Township after junta troops raided houses and arrested four civilians and another four striking civil servants at a funeral on May 20.

On Friday evening, the combined forces of the Karenni People’s Defense Force (KPDF) and the Karenni Army, the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party, seized three military security checkpoints and outposts in Demoso and Bawlakhe townships, the KPDF said.

A military security outpost in Demoso Township was set on fire by the People’s Defense Force, according to a video released by the KPDF.

Military-controlled newspapers said two members of the junta’s force were killed and another three injured during the clashes in Demoso Township on Friday morning. It said another of its troops was killed by the PDF during clashes near Ngwe Taung Village in Loikaw Township. Light Infantry Battalion No. 102 based in Demoso is battling the resistance.

The military said security forces arrested 15 people from the PDF, two of whom were killed during the arrest.

The KPDF said the military used heavy weapons to attack them and sent in hundreds of soldiers as reinforcements following the clashes.

However, the KPDF claimed the People’s Defense Force sustained no casualties.

Residents said the regime’s forces killed a motorbike rider who refused to stop and arrested a dozen civilians on Friday, following the clashes in Demoso Township.

Kayah State is the second ethnic state to see armed resistance to the military regime in response to the intolerable violence of junta troops, who have killed hundreds of people since the Feb. 1 coup. Since late March, civilian resistance fighters in Chin State and Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay regions have taken up any weapons available—from air guns to traditional firearms and homemade bombs—to fight back against the regime.

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