Two civilian resistance fighters were killed and more than five wounded during a shootout with junta troops in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, on Tuesday.
It is the first fighting reported in the east of the township to the east of the Chindwin River.
A series of shootouts have occurred to the west of the river since April 2.
The shootout started on Tuesday morning near Nyaung Yin village when large numbers of resistance fighters attacked about 60 junta troops raiding villages while heading to the northern part of the township along the Chindwin, according to residents.
The military used artillery against resistance fighters armed with old-fashioned, homemade hunting rifles.
“They used about 13 artillery rounds against us. Two of our members died and more than five were injured,” a member of the People Defense Force told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, there were an estimated 10 military casualties in the firefight, residents said.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the numbers.
After three hours of shooting, the regime troops retreated to near Letpansu village on Tuesday afternoon and fired artillery at random from the village.
“We have to resist as we cannot accept their oppression. They raided our villages and destroyed houses. Villagers are living in fear,” the resistance fighter said.
Junta troops allegedly left Kani on Tuesday morning and raided several villages along the Chindwin’s east bank, looting homes while heading to the north of the township.
Around 10,000 residents of more than 10 villages have fled their homes, according to villagers.
Meanwhile, around 100 junta soldiers have raided about 10 villages to the west of the Chindwin since May 22 after fighting the resistance on the Kani-Mingin highway.
Around 5,000 residents from at least 12 villages are sheltering in forests after fleeing their homes last week.
“Older villagers and children are suffering from cholera due to lack of clean water in the forest. No one dares to return home as junta troops are still deploying in the villages,” a Myaunggone villager told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.
Junta soldiers occupied Myaunggone for two nights and shot dead a 35-year-old villager who ventured back home on Sunday.
You may also like these stories: