The Myin Daung village defence team reportedly encountered soldiers preparing to raid another village in western Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region, and lost five members in the ensuing fight
Five members of a local defence force were killed and five villagers went missing after the resistance fighters fought an advancing military column in southern Sagaing Region on Wednesday.
According to the Khin-U Special Force Organisation (KSO), a locally based defence force, some 140 junta soldiers advanced east into Khin-U Township from Ye-U, located across the Mu River. The Myin Daung village defence force intercepted between the villages of Myin Daung and Mya Kan shortly thereafter.
A Lin Yaung, leader of the Myin Daung village defence force, said members of his group were on their way back from setting up explosive devices when they encountered junta forces initiating a raid on Mya Kan.
“We were deployed in two separate spots and three junta columns were preparing to raid Mya Kan village. We tried to fight them off but we lost our troops because of the disadvantage in firepower,” A Lin Yaung told Myanmar Now.
“We used explosives first, when the military dogs arrived at the minefield,” A Lin Yaung said, referring to the soldiers. “We tried to keep them back as they marched further, but we only had two rifles, so we were outmatched.”
The deceased, all members of the local defence force of Myin Daung village, were identified as Kyaw Naing, Phoe Kyaw and Moe Hein, all in their 20s; Tayoke Gyi, 46; and Ko Naung, 40.
Two of the missing civilians were identified as Sein Myo Tin and Aung Kyaw Lwin of Myin Daung. The others are only known to be three men from Mya Kan, according to A Lin Yaung.
The defence teams said that even as they were making funeral preparations, they anticipated having to fight the junta forces again soon.
According to a KSO spokesperson, the day before the raid on Mya Kan, a junta convoy consisting of four vehicles and carrying around 100 troops as well as provisions and ammunition for military bases had also entered Khin-U Township from the west. After entering the township on Tuesday, the convoy’s troops started to establish outposts in nearby villages.
“I thought it would be over after they sent supplies yesterday, but another column started raiding villages this morning,” a KSO spokesperson said on Wednesday.
Close to 10,000 civilians from some 20 villages have been displaced by junta raids in western Khin-U Township, according to a Khin-U Township People’s Defence Team spokesperson.
Local resistance forces said they could not give precise estimates of the damage the military had sustained from attacks by anti-junta village defence teams.
As of Wednesday afternoon, junta troops are stationed in Kyun Lel village, some five miles south of Myin Daung, with local defence teams anticipating that they would move soon.