Eight regime soldiers killed in clashes around Hpa-an 

Fighting broke out between the Myanmar military and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) in four locations outside the Karen State capital of Hpa-an on Monday, killing eight junta troops, according to the Karen National Union (KNU). 

The KNLA, the armed wing of the KNU, clashed with the regime’s armed forces in the areas of Lay Taw Gyi, Melan, Guh Bee Htwee, and Mee Bon in the Karen forces’ Brigade 1 territory, some 20 miles from Hpa-an, a KNLA official told Myanmar Now.

“There was an intense shootout in Lay Taw Gyi and Mee Bon, but there were no casualties on our side. But at least eight military soldiers were killed and two injured,” he said.

On June 14, the KNLA’s Brigade 1 and the Myanmar army initially clashed in Hpa-an. The KNLA official blamed the fighting on the junta’s operations with its allied Border Guard Force (BGF) in the state.

Brigade 1 territory includes Bilin, Thaton, Hpa-an and Kyaikhto townships in both Mon and Karen states. Since the February 1 coup, there have been five clashes in Thaton and one in Kyaikhto, according to KNU and KNLA sources. 

“Now, Bilin, Kyaikhto and Thaton are calm. There’s been no activity or confrontation,” a KNU official said. 

The KNU’s Thoolei News reported that Monday’s clashes took place in four locations around Hpa-an, stating that eight junta soldiers had been killed and four injured. 

It has been in the KNLA’s Brigade 3 and 5 territories that fighting has intensified since the coup, with the military suffering heavy casualties and tens of thousands of people displaced by the regime’s artillery fire and airstrikes. 

In Brigade 5 alone, in Karen State’s Mutraw District (Hpapun), more than 350 regime troops have been killed, according to a colonel in the KNLA’s fifth brigade. 

At the time of reporting, the KNLA in that area had overran at least two military bases and forced a retreat from at least three regime camps. 

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