Dozens of junta troops and some People’s Defense Force members were reportedly killed during two days of clashes in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Chin and Kayah states.
On Tuesday morning, using a cluster of mines and two homemade heavy shotguns, a combined force of PDF groups ambushed a military detachment of 30 junta troops traveling in Tabayin Township (also known as Depayin) in Sagaing Region.
Three regime soldiers were killed in the attack, according to the Myanmar Defense Force-Depayin, which collaborated in the ambush.
Resistance fighters escaped without any casualties despite the regime troops opening fire on them at random.
On Monday, the combined force used guerrilla tactics to stage another attack on a detachment of 50 regime forces marching to a village in Tabayin Township. There were about 10 military casualties, the resistance group said.
After receiving information—which turned out to be false—that Bo Nagar, a popular leader of the Pale-PDF, had organized a meeting in Ohn Hnauk Village in Sagaing’s Pale Township, three military helicopter gunships attacked the village on Monday. Meanwhile, more than 100 junta ground troops occupied the village.
Shortly after the raid, Bo Nagar said in a video message that he was safe, and had been in Chin State despite being invited to give a public talk in the village.
During the raid, several hundred residents fled their homes and regime forces torched some houses.
On that evening, the junta-controlled state media said that an exchange of fire occurred at the village when regime forces went there to arrest PDF “terrorists” who were holding a meeting to plan their activities. But the media didn’t mention the junta’s airstrikes on the village.
The regime also claimed to have seized five bodies of dead PDF “terrorists” along with ammunition and firearms.
However, The Irrawaddy was unable to confirm whether those killed are PDF members or villagers.
In December, the junta also conducted airstrikes on two villages in Sagaing’s Ye-U township and Magwe Region’s Gangaw Township after being tipped off that PDF leaders were holding a meeting in the villages. More than a dozen people were killed in the regime’s airstrikes.
On that occasion also, the regime’s media failed to mention the airstrikes on the villages, and labeled all those killed as “terrorists.”
However, producing photos at evidence, PDFs and local residents claimed that many of those killed were unarmed civilians including a woman, along with some PDF members.
On Monday, another 21 regime forces including seven militia members trained and armed by the military regime were reportedly killed during ambushes and clashes in three Sagaing townships: Wetlet, Kani and Monywa.
The Myaing-PDF said that two of its members committed suicide by blowing themselves up with a mine to avoid capture on Monday when they were surrounded by regime forces in Myaing Township, Magwe Region.
Currently, several military detachments of around 400 regime forces are scouring for PDF members in the forests in Myaing Township, according to resistance forces. Myaing residents were urged to seek a safe place to hide from junta raids.
The Chinland Defense Force-Matupi also claimed to have killed three regime soldiers and injured many others when it raided Infantry Battalion 304 in Matupi Township, Chin State on Monday afternoon.
The Chin resistance group said the attack was in response to the murder of 10 civilians including a child and a journalist who were killed after being used as human shields by regime forces traveling in Matupi last week.
Fighting between regime forces and resistance groups continued in Kayah State’s capital Loikaw on Monday afternoon, said the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).
The number of casualties was unknown, however.
Junta ammunition and the bodies of dead regime soldiers were seized when resistance groups cleaned up in clash-affected Dawso Village in Demoso Township in the state on Monday, the KNDF said.
Since the end of December, fierce clashes between regime forces and a combined force of Karenni people and the Karenni Army have occurred in Loikaw, Demoso and Hpruso townships in the state. The clashes have prompted the regime to call in airstrikes
With the exception of Rakhine State, the military regime faces intense attacks from PDFs and many ethnic armed groups across the country.
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