Junta officers killed in clashes on Shan-Mandalay border

A junta lieutenant colonel and two captains have been killed in the ongoing clashes with resistance forces in Shan State’s Nawnghkio (Naung Cho) Township, according to a statement issued by the publicly mandated National Unity Government on Sunday.

The deaths were confirmed by a spokesperson for the Mandalay Region People’s Defence Force (MDY-PDF). The MDY-PDF had initially attacked a junta column near Ho Kho village in Nawnghkio Township on April 5; since then, the military has launched more than 30 airstrikes during the series of battles that followed, at times mistakenly killing their own troops, according to according to Osmond, MDY-PDF spokesperson. 

Junta columns made up of hundreds of soldiers were reportedly engaged in these clashes, some of which lasted whole days. As of Monday, the casualties of low-ranking military personnel had reached “double digits,” Osmond said, adding that 11 fighters from the MDY-PDF were also killed and 15 injured. 

The resistance group managed to seize a  military base located between Tar Taing and Ngoke Ka Lay villages, Nawnghkio Township, on Saturday. They then shot Lt-Col Myat Min Tun dead as he arrived at the base in his car, according to the spokesperson.

“A lieutenant colonel and two captains from Infantry Battalions 147a, 258, and 253 were killed,” Osmond said. “The captains were killed in battle and the lieutenant colonel was killed on arrival in his domestic vehicle. We knew he was coming, so we signalled his car to stop. He didn’t, and we shot him.”

Myanmar Now has yet to independently confirm the junta casualties.

The MDY-PDF officer said that heavy artillery shelling by the military targeting nearby villages had killed seven civilians and injured many more, but further information about the victims was not available at the time of reporting. 

The Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) is reportedly fighting alongside the MDY-PDF against several Myanmar army battalions. Brig-Gen Tar Bone Kyaw of the TNLA told the BBC on Saturday that the organisation was providing training, accommodation and arms to PDF troops.

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