War Against the Junta

Over 30 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed, Injured in Clash With Resistance Groups in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 22 December 2022

More than 30 Myanmar junta forces were reportedly killed and injured during a heavy clash with local People’s Defense Force groups (PDFs) in Kani Township, Sagaing Region on Wednesday, prompting the regime to call in air strikes.

The clash started near Moke Htaw Village at 10 a.m. on that morning when over 20 local PDF groups jointly ambushed a military detachment of around 150 regime troops traveling along the bank of the Chindwin River.

The detachment was raiding villages and traveling along the riverbank as it protected a military flotilla of eight barges and motorboats reportedly transporting rations, weapons, ammunition and aviation fuel from Monywa to upper Sagaing Region, an official of Kyauk Lone Gyi PDF based in Kani told The Irrawaddy on Thursday.

After sustaining heavy losses, the regime forces called in a Russian-made Mi-35 military helicopter gunship, which conducted air strikes against the resistance forces for an hour.

“There were many weapons and bodies of killed soldiers left behind on the battlefield. But we managed to seize only a few weapons as the helicopter gunship arrived and attacked us,” said the official of Kyauk Lone Gyi PDF.

After the junta aircraft departed from the area, the clash continued until 3 p.m.

In the clash, two resistance fighters were killed and six others injured, and one is still missing, the PDF group said.

At the same time, a shootout broke out between the resistance forces and the regime troops aboard vessels in the military flotilla in the Chindwin River.

After being attacked, the military detachment stopped at Moke Htaw Village until Thursday.

Faced with continuous land mine ambushes by PDFs on their land routes, the Myanmar junta has to rely on riverine routes to transport rations, weapons and ammunition to upper Sagaing Region and Kachin State.

However, the military flotillas and motorboats are also coming under attack from local resistance groups along the rivers.