Dozens of junta troops killed in two weeks of fighting in Pekhon Township

A total of 27 regime soldiers, including a high-ranking officer, have been killed in southern Shan State’s Pekhon Township over the past two weeks, according to resistance sources.

The area, which borders Karenni (Kayah) State, has seen almost continuous fighting since early June as anti-junta forces mount daily attacks and the military retaliates with heavy artillery.

The clashes began on June 3, when troops from Light Infantry Division 66 were ambushed by People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters between the villages of Gaung Ei and Settaw, about 10km west of the town of Pekhon.

Since then, the PDF and its allies, the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force and the Karenni Revolution Union, have mounted multiple assaults on regime forces stationed in the area, according to the spokesperson for Pekhon PDF Battalion 1002.

“The military hasn’t withdrawn yet. It’s still stationed [in Pekhon], so the fighting hasn’t stopped. I suppose it will continue for a while,” he said, adding that weapons and ammunition have also been seized during the recent clashes.

He added that troops inside Pekhon conducted heavy shelling from June 8 to 11 in response to the killing of an army officer.

“They have used so many heavy weapons since a high-ranking officer of theirs was killed. But the air force wasn’t called in due to the heavy rain and clouds,” he said.

According to the spokesperson, two members of PDF Battalion 1007 were also killed, and several other resistance fighters have been injured.

In addition to Pekhon-based PDF Battalion 1002, the PDF forces active in the area include Battalions 1005, 1007, 1008 and 1009, based in Moebye, and Battalions 1101, 1102 and 1107, based in Karenni State’s Demoso Township, as well as the Loikaw PDF, based in the Karenni capital.

Weapons seized from junta forces during clashes in Pekhon Township in early June (Pekhon PDF)

Junta forces have been attacking Moebye, located some 10 miles southeast of Pekhon, since late last month. Around 150 reinforcement troops arrived in the town near the Karenni border on June 5, according to resistance sources.

Heavy fighting was reported there on Sunday. At least 20 junta soldiers, as well as four resistance fighters, were killed, the sources said.

Earlier this week, resistance forces mounted a coordinated assault on a police station and three army outposts in Karenni State’s Mese Township, near the border with Thailand.

A local police chief was killed and weapons and ammunition were seized, sources there told Myanmar Now.

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