War Against the Junta

Fierce Fighting in Myanmar’s Ayadaw Claims Many Junta, Resistance Casualties

By Hein Htoo Zan 1 March 2023

Both the Myanmar junta’s military and resistance groups have suffered heavy casualties in clashes in Ayadaw Township, Sagaing Region over the past week, according to the resistance groups.

The junta military has carried out raids in the south of Ayadaw Township since Feb. 23, conducting air strikes and deploying ground troops. People’s resistance groups in the area said they had lost at least 10 comrades, while the junta military suffered at least a couple of dozen casualties.

The junta military launched air strikes on Ma Lae Thar Village in Ayadaw Township at around 2 p.m. on that day, with Air Force Mi-35 helicopter gunships destroying a small hospital, a school and some other buildings inside a Health Department compound in the village, said a spokesperson for the Ayadaw People’s Defense Force (PDF).

“The Mi-35 came from the North-Western Regional Military Command. It shot at and dropped bombs upon the hospital and school, and also shot at nearby villages,” he said.

The junta military also brought in troop reinforcements on an Mi-17 helicopter four times that day in the south of Ayadaw, according to the residents.

Clashes have continued between the junta military and local resistance groups since then. The fighting has forced thousands of residents to flee their homes.

According to a statement released on Wednesday by Danger Force, a local PDF (LPDF) based in Ayadaw, a combined force of nine local resistance groups has responded by launching intensive attacks on junta troops in the township, which is located in Monywa District, since Feb. 24, one day after the junta launched its first air strikes.

“On Feb. 24 alone, we launched an attack near Nyaung Pin Village, killing at least five junta military troops and injuring three,” said a member of Danger Force LPDF.

Resistance groups said the clashes continued on Wednesday in the south of Ayadaw, adding that they had sacrificed at least 10 comrades so far, while at least a couple of dozen junta troops have been killed in the clashes, mostly around Nat Ma Thin, Kan Yin and Ma Lae Thar villages.

On Feb. 28, three young members of Ayadaw LPDF died in the south of Ayadaw while preparing mortar shells to attack junta troops. They were identified as Comrade Cover, 18; Comrade Hpar Gyi, 19; and Comrade Nway Oo, 20.