Anti-regime groups attack army convoy near Indian border

A junta convoy suspected of carrying weapons from India was hit repeatedly by anti-regime forces in northern Sagaing Region over the weekend, according to resistance sources.

The attacks, which began near the village of Mya Lay Taung in Tamu Township on Saturday, targeted the 13-vehicle convoy as it travelled south along the Indian border on the road from Tamu to Kalay, the sources said.

An alliance of local resistance groups used explosives, drones, and heavy weapons against the convoy, according to an officer of the Kalay People’s Defence Force (PDF), one of the groups that took part in the fighting.

“Our explosives destroyed the road as well as two of the military trucks, and we also fired 60mm mortars at them,” said the Kalay PDF officer, describing a second attack on Sunday.

The first clash, which began near Mya Lay Taung at around 10:30am on Saturday, lasted about three hours and left at least three junta soldiers dead and several others injured, he said.

A security checkpoint set up farther south, at the intersection with the road to the village of Yazagyo, near the border with Chin State, was also attacked on Saturday, according to a member of one of the groups involved.

“Our explosives weren’t working and we couldn’t match the firepower of the convoy, so we attacked the checkpoint instead,” said Wai Gyi, an officer of a Kalay-based group called the Harmonious Northern Brotherhood.

He added that the resistance forces were forced to withdraw after the military started firing back with heavy artillery, injuring two members of the anti-regime alliance involved in the attack.

The convoy, which was carrying around 100 soldiers, was targeted because it was believed to be transporting weapons from India, resistance sources told Myanmar Now.

Local defence teams attack a junta convoy in northern Sagaing Region on November 26 (Supplied)

When contacted, however, the Indian government rejected reports that the country was in any way involved in arming the Myanmar military.

“There has not been any supply of arms from India. The news reports are false and we categorically reject the claims of recent incidents in Tamu being connected to any supplies from India,” the Indian embassy in Yangon said in response to a request for comment.

The embassy’s political section also pointed out that fighting in Myanmar has impacted its neighbour.

Recent clashes have “resulted in over 50,000 citizens of Myanmar crossing over into India, mostly in Mizoram and Manipur,” it said, referring to two Indian states bordering Sagaing Region and Chin State.

Earlier this month, the government of Manipur extended a ban on travel through a major border gateway to prevent “illegal entry of Myanmar nationals.”

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