Sagaing Region resistance fighters on Sunday ambushed three military checkpoints in Shwebo Township, where regime troops have been extorting money from travelers and drivers, according to Burma Ranger-Shwebo, a local resistance group.
The checkpoints are located on the Shwebo-Kyaukmyaung road near Shwebo University’s main entrance and at least six regime troops were killed in the attack, according to the group.
“We prepared for two months to attack the junta checkpoints. We need to attack their checkpoints because they have been extorting money from drivers and travelers. Six regime troops were killed during the attack,” a spokesperson from the group said.
The Irrawaddy has not been able to independently verify the claims.
Local residents said regime troops have forbidden farmers from neighboring villages to sell their crops unless they receive permission from village administrators. They also confiscate crops from farmers who cannot produce a permission letter from the village administrator, according to a local farmer.
“We have to provide the permission letter obtained from village administrators in order to pass through the road and if we don’t have a permission letter, they confiscate all of our crops,” a farmer from eastern Shwebo Township said.
The village administrators appointed by the junta do not reside in the villages of eastern Shwebo Township due to the threat from local resistance forces, making it difficult for farmers to obtain permission letters.
Sunday’s attack was carried out by combined local resistance groups based in Shwebo and Wetlet townships in Sagaing, the resistance strongholds of Myanmar’s northwestern region.
Two resistance fighters were also killed in the attack, according to Burma Rangers-Shwebo.
Regime troops who have been stationed in the compound of Shwebo University since the 2021 coup have been extorting money from bus drivers, travelers and local residents.