By THE IRRAWADDY 10 September 2021
More than 20 junta troops, including a high-ranking officer, were reportedly killed on Thursday and Friday during ambushes by People’s Defense Forces (PDF) across the country, with the most fatalities in Yangon and Magwe regions. Dozens of civilian casualties were also reported in junta crackdowns.
On Thursday morning, the Karen National Union seized two military camps in Karen State.
Three junta soldiers, including a deputy battalion commander, were reportedly killed in Sanchaung Township, Yangon Region, on Thursday when PDF volunteers attacked a military vehicle.
Following the attack, junta soldiers in around 10 vehicles blocked roads in the township. A video showed soldiers opening fire at random and swearing at a roadblock in Sanchaung. The area was still surrounded by the military on Friday.
Myanmar has seen growing violence between junta troops and PDFs after the declaration of a people’s war against the regime by the civilian National Unity Government (NUG).
When declaring a state of emergency on Tuesday, the NUG’s acting president Duwa Lashi La called on all people to “revolt against the rule of the military terrorists” led by coup leader Min Aung Hlaing across the country.
Since the declaration, the military regime has been escalating inspections, arrests and raids while PDFs have stepped up attacks.
At least 15 to 20 junta soldiers were reportedly killed in Kyaukhtu in Magwe Region on Thursday morning in a PDF landmine attack on four military vehicles, according to the PDF.
More than 22 civilians, including PDF members, were killed and others wounded by junta forces in Magwe Region and Chin and Kayah states on Thursday.
On Friday morning, an intense shootout between junta troops and the Gangaw PDF in Magwe Region occurred in Hnan Khar village on the Kale highway, which connects Magwe and Sagaing regions, according to the group’s leader.
On Thursday junta troops torched more than 20 houses in Myintha village in Gangaw Township after several resistance attacks on the Gangaw-Kalay highway.
During the raid, 22 teenage villagers who fought back with homemade firearms were killed by junta troops, according to a resident.
Also on Thursday, four civilians, including a nine-month-old baby, were injured in random junta shooting after being attacked by civilian Chinland Defense Force at the Chin State mountaintop town of Thantlang.
Houses were damaged by the gunfire and another was blown up by junta explosives, according to residents.
In response to PDF attacks in Demoso Township, Kayah State, troops used explosives and shot at random in the town’s residential areas on Thursday.
A woman was killed and four others injured by junta explosives in Bawlakhe Township, Kayah State, on Thursday when junta troops used explosives on farmers near Nan Hpe village, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force.
A firefight between Laungon PDF and the Pyu-Saw-Htee militia, which is trained and armed by the junta, was reported at Launglon Township, Tanintharyi Region, on Friday morning.
In the shootout, junta-appointed village administrator U Zaw Myo Oo, also a Pyu-Saw-Htee commander, was killed and other members were injured, the PDF leader told The Irrawaddy.
Myanmar’s junta is also being attacked by ethnic armed groups in Kachin, Shan, Kayah, Mon and Karen states and Sagaing and Tanintharyi regions.
By Thursday, almost 1,060 people had been killed by the junta forces, according to the advocacy group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
More than 7,990 people, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta or face arrest warrants.