War Against the Junta

Myanmar Junta Troops Trigger Mines in Attack on Mandalay PDF Camp

By The Irrawaddy 24 January 2023

Around 30 junta infantry soldiers were wounded or killed on Friday when they were caught in a minefield planted around a People’s Defense Force (PDF) battalion base in Mogok Township, Mandalay Region, the PDF group said on Tuesday.

The National Unity Government (NUG)’s Thabeikkyin PDF battalion 1222 said the casualties occurred after regime troops launched a combined air and ground attack on its base. Three fighter jets bombed the base at around 12.20 on Jan. 20 while 200 regime troops attacked on the ground.

The battalion said its commander was killed in the attack, which also left three PDF fighters wounded.

“Around 30 bombs were dropped and the junta troops used machine guns,” the battalion said.

Its members retreated from the base under the barrage of airstrikes and ground artillery.

However, a defensive cordon of land mines planted around the camp was triggered by the advancing junta forces. The battle for the base left around 30 soldiers wounded or dead, said the battalion, citing reports by locals.

The PDF group lost food, backpacks and motorcycles in its hasty retreat from the base.

There are now over 300 PDF battalions nationwide, supplemented by township-level defense forces in 250 of the 330 townships across the country.

PDF groups vowed to go on the offensive this year and are increasingly raiding and occupying – sometimes in tandem with ethnic armed groups – army outposts and police stations in resistance strongholds.

The junta has responded by escalating its campaign of indiscriminate air and artillery strikes, killing civilians while also detaining opponents of military rule.