Three Days of Clashes Leave Six Myanmar Junta Forces, Dozen Resistance Fighters Dead
By The Irrawaddy 5 January 2023
At least six regime forces and a dozen resistance fighters were killed during clashes in the last three days when People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and a Karen ethnic armed organization stepped up their attacks on regime targets across the country.
In one case, three military battalions’ bases were attacked and seized temporarily by resistance forces in Karen State. Also, a military ration vessel was seized by PDF groups in Upper Myanmar.
Separately, eight PDF fighters were killed in a junta ambush in Magwe Region.
Incidents were reported in Karen and Chin states and Magwe, Mandalay and Sagaing Regions.
The Irrawaddy has rounded up the following reports of significant attacks from PDFs and the EAO.
Some military casualties could not be independently verified.
Three military battalions raided by resistance forces in Karen
Several dozen regime forces were reportedly killed in Kyainseikgyi Township, Karen State on Wednesday when several PDFs and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) jointly raided three military battalions at the same time, according to the resistance groups.
The resistance forces temporarily occupied the bases of the military’s Infantry Battalions 32, 283 and 284 before being forced to retreat from the areas as the junta conducted heavy air strikes using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, said Kyainseikgyi’s People Administration Group, citing resistance forces.
During the raid, resistance forces managed to burn down some military buildings at the battalion bases.
Resistance forces arrested the wife of the commander of military Battalion 284 in the raid, but she escaped later during the regime air strikes. Citing resistance fighters, People Administration Group said around 200 regime forces are believed to have been killed in the raids.
Four resistance fighters were also killed in the clashes.
However, The Irrawaddy was unable to independently confirm the reports.
Military ration vessel seized by PDF groups in Sagaing
One of two military barges carrying rations and 70 soldiers was seized on the Chindwin River in Kani Township, Sagaing Region on Tuesday night when two PDF groups attacked the motorboats, said the Anti-Dictatorship People’s Revolutionary Army, which joined the attack.
The two military motorboats were transporting rations from Monywa to upper Sagaing Region along the Chindwin River. The PDF group said they attacked the motorboats while they were stranded on sandbanks in the river.
After a two-hour-long shootout, resistance forces managed to seize one of the boats. The bodies of two dead regime soldiers were left on the seized barge while other regime forces escaped by jumping into the river.
Around 100 rice bags of supplies including beans and cooking oil were seized by the PDF groups along with other military bags and bulletproof jackets, the PDF group claimed.
Regime forces ambushed in Sagaing
At least one regime soldier was killed and many others injured in Chaung-U Township, Sagaing Region on Wednesday when four PDF groups ambushed 20 regime forces and pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia members, said PDF group We Must Win-Guerrilla Force, which was involved in the attack.
First, the PDF groups used land mines to ambush the regime forces from junta camps in Kan See and Kin Mon Htaw villages while they were going out to raid nearby villages. A junta soldier was killed in the PDF’s mine ambush.
Small clashes continued in the area as PDF forces followed and attacked the regime forces retreating from the ambush site, the PDF group said.
A PDF video shows resistance fighters attacking regime targets.
Military battalion attacked by resistance group in Chin
A junta soldier was killed and another injured in Matupi Township, Chin State on Wednesday afternoon when Chinland Defense Force-Matupi attacked the entrance gate of military Infantry Battalion 304 on the Matupi-Paletwa Road, claimed the ethnic Chin resistance group.
After the attack, the military battalion randomly shelled nearby areas until 8 p.m. that evening.
Two regime forces killed in Tanintharyi
Two regime troops and a resistance fighter were killed during a shootout in Palaw Township, Tanintharyi Region on Monday, Palaw-Karen People’s Defense Force said on Wednesday.
The firefight occurred with regime forces heading to Tapo Village while resistance fighters of two PDF groups were preparing land mines.
Two PDF weapons were also seized by the regime forces in the clash, said Palaw-KPDF.
Regime forces hit by mines in Mandalay
Some regime forces are believed to have been killed in Pyawbwe Township, Mandalay Region on Wednesday when Tike Daung-People Revolutionary Alliance used remote-controlled mines to attack 10 regime forces in the town of Pyawbwe, according to a report by local media outlet Myaelatt Athan.
Regime forces were bombed at 3 a.m. on that morning while performing security duty for a ceremony commemorating the 75th Myanmar Independence Day, the resistance group told the media.
Eight PDF fighters killed in junta ambush in Magwe
Eight resistance fighters were killed in a junta ambush in Seikphyu Township, Magwe Region on Monday, said Seikphyu Barmahtee-PDF group on Wednesday.
Around 15 resistance forces of Seikphyu Barmahtee-PDF group were ambushed by the junta soldiers while they were conducting an operation in the township.
A PDF official told local media that their fighters could not defend against the junta ambush due to a lack of automatic firearms.