Anti-regime groups attack pro-junta militia in Myanmar’s south

Resistance forces in southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi Region mounted an assault on members of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia on Wednesday, according to one of the anti-junta groups involved in the attack.

The attack, which took place in Palaw Kone, a village in Tanintharyi’s Palaw Township, targeted a Pyu Saw Htee leader named Kalar Ni and around 20 other members of the group, a spokesperson for the Palaw People’s Defence Force (PDF) told Myanmar Now.

Four anti-regime groups active in the area, including the Palaw PDF and the Karen National Liberation Army, took part in the attack, according to the spokesperson. 

“We shot at them from an open field and they shot back at us from inside houses in the village, but we couldn’t tell which houses they were shooting at us from,” he said.

The two sides clashed for about three hours, but no deaths were reported on either side, he added.

“The Pyu Saw Htee has all sorts of weapons. They have plenty of ammunition, high-quality guns, and silencers and snipers,” the spokesperson said, adding that one resistance fighter had been shot in the arm by a sniper.

He also said that around 20 regime soldiers sent as reinforcements had been killed by explosives near Nang Payote, a village about 15km away from Palaw Kone, but Myanmar Now was unable to confirm this claim.

A video of the clash posted by the Palaw PDF, which is under the direct command of Myanmar’s shadow National Unity Government, showed a group of armed youths in commando uniforms engaging in a gunfight.

A resident of Nat Eain Htaung, a village located next to Palaw Kone, said he heard gunshots from the battle.

“I heard noises at dawn, but I haven’t heard anything about anyone from the village getting injured. It wasn’t very far away, but we don’t know who was fighting with whom,” he said.

This is the second time that Pyu Saw Htee groups were attacked in Palaw Township this month.

On March 1, the Palaw PDF and another group attacked Pyu Saw Htee members in the village of Htamin Masar, which has been occupied by junta troops since late last year.

Clashes were also reported in several other villages in the area in January and February.

According to local news outlet The Thanlwin Times, Myanmar’s military has killed 69 people in Tanintharyi since seizing power in a coup in February of last year.

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