Junta troops suffer casualties in clashes with rebel groups

The Myanmar military suffered casualties during several clashes with ethnic armed groups in three different regions over the weekend, according to local media and statements from the groups. 

On Saturday, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar National Democratic Army (MNDAA) ambushed over 100 junta soldiers marching toward an MNDAA post near Mongko in northern Shan State, according to local media reports. 

Five junta soldiers were killed, including a battalion commander and his deputy, and about 20 others were injured in the clash, according to The Kokang media outlet, which published photos of weapons and ammunition seized from junta forces on its Facebook page. 

The Kachinwaves media outlet published a video that showed the bodies of junta soldiers as well as grenades and ammunition.

Colonel Naw Bu, a KIA spokesperson, told Myanmar Now he had not been able to confirm how many junta soldiers died in the fighting. “There were indeed clashes but there has been no accurate news [about casualties] yet,” he said.

Kachinnet Burmese, a KIA-controlled outlet, said the KIA’s Battalion 36 under Brigade 6 retaliated against the junta’s 99th Light Infantry Division after it trespassed on KIA territory in Mongko. 

About 2,000 people living near the Chinese border in Pang Hseng and Mongko fled their homes because of the fighting, said a volunteer who is trying to reach them to offer assistance. 

“They were forced to stay in makeshift tents along the border,” the volunteer said. “We still haven’t been able to get to them. We could only get to Pang Hseng because troops from both sides are operating in the area.”

In Kayah State over the weekend, a joint force of the Karenni Army and the newly formed Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) clashed with the Myanmar military twice in ​​Loilen Lay, a town in Loikaw Township.

The KNDF said in a statement that it seized rifles, ammunition and grenades but could not confirm the number of casualties its troops inflicted on the Myanmar military.

Weapons and ammunition seized from Myanmar army troops in Kayah State’s Loikaw Township (KNDF) 

On Sunday, three regime soldiers died during a clash with troops from Brigade 1 of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU), in Mon State’s Thaton district, the rebel group said.

There were no casualties on the KNLA’s side and the clash only lasted a few minutes, the Karen Information Center reported. 

The junta has been reinforcing its troop numbers near several rebel-controlled areas around the country since mid-August. 

Padoh Saw Taw Nee, the head of the KNU’s foreign affairs department, has warned that more clashes will be unavoidable if the junta’s troops continue to invade the group’s territory. 

Thoolei News, a KNU-controlled publication, reported earlier this month that at least 50 junta troops have been killed in KNU territory in August. 

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