After days of fighting, Karenni resistance alliance claims to have ‘nearly wiped out’ junta column 

Four days of battles in Moebye, a town in Pekhon Township along southern Shan State’s border with Karenni State, left some 60 Myanmar junta troops dead by Sunday, according to the resistance forces involved in the fighting. 

The casualties came from two columns, according to an information officer from the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF). They were killed after being surrounded in Pwel Kone Ward 3 by guerrilla fighters from multiple allied groups active in the area, including the KNDF, the Moebye and Pekhon People’s Defence Forces (PDFs), and the Urban Revolution Front. 

Some 100 soldiers occupying Wari Su Palai village marched towards Moebye on September 8, which ignited fighting with resistance forces. They were joined by reinforcement troops from the Moebye-based Light Infantry Battalion 422, according to the KNDF. 

They then became trapped at a post they had set up in the Holy Mother of God Church in Pwel Kone, the KNDF spokesperson said. 

“They launched a heavy fire of artillery shells at Moebye in order to rescue their trapped soldiers. They also launched airstrikes,” he told Myanmar Now. 

By the morning of September 11, no more reinforcements were arriving in Moebye, although military movements were seen around the Karenni State capital of Loikaw, around 17km to the southeast.

While the KNDF reported that “nearly 60 soldiers” were killed in total in the Moebye battles between September 8 and 11, the Moebye PDF stated that the total was 65, documenting the casualties on a daily basis. The group claimed that 10 troops were killed on September 8, then 15 on each of the next two days, and 25 on September 11. 

“Not much is left of that column. They couldn’t even send reinforcements to them. They could only rely on heavy artillery shells and airstrikes,” an officer in the Pekhon PDF said. 

The bodies of junta soldiers killed in the Moebye clashes (KNDF)

Photos released by the resistance indicated that weapons were also seized from the defeated Myanmar military unit. 

“This was the most severe fighting we have ever taken part in. Nearly their entire column was wiped out,” the officer added. 

At least two resistance fighters were confirmed to have been killed in the clashes, one from the Pekhon PDF and one from the Urban Revolution Front. 

No fighting was reported on Monday, but military units based in Loikaw reportedly fired three heavy artillery shells in the direction of Moebye. 

According to a statement released on Monday morning by the Progressive Karenni People’s Force, at least 100 houses were destroyed in Moebye by the shelling and airstrikes carried out in the preceding days. 

The military council does not typically disclose information about clashes with resistance forces nationwide. 

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