Junta troops withdraw from Karenni village after battle with resistance forces

Regime forces abandoned a base they have held in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Demoso Township for the past eight months following a battle with anti-junta groups on Tuesday, according to local resistance sources.

Some 30 to 50 regime soldiers withdrew overnight from the village of Thay Su Le after a full day of fighting that began at 6am, Khun Francis, the information officer for the Demoso People’s Defence Force (PDF), told Myanmar Now.

“They retreated to another base that they have at a monastery in Kone Thar,” he said, referring to a village about 2km south of Thay Su Le.

“We don’t know how they got there, because they left in the middle of the night,” he added.

Thay Su Le is located about 8km north of the town of Demoso and has been occupied since early this year. According to Khun Francis, Tuesday’s retreat was likely only temporary.

“They had enough weapons, but not enough manpower, so we are assuming they will be back once they get reinforcements,” he said.

He added that local resistance forces went into the village on Wednesday morning and found that it had been heavily mined. At least three Karenni troops were injured, but details were not available, he said.

The buried body of a junta soldier was also discovered in the base set up inside the village, he added.

Map of Demoso Township and the surrounding area

Several groups were involved in the attack on the base, including  the Karenni Army, the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, the Karenni Revolution Union, and local and National Unity Government PDF forces.

Heavy fighting began in the area in February, when the military launched a major offensive to take control of the road from Demoso to Moebye in southern Shan State.

Other towns and villages along the road, including Nan Mei Khon, are still occupied by regime forces, according to Khun Francis.

PDF groups also launched an attack on a base on Thae Taung, another village in Demoso Township, on November 23, according to a statement released by the Demoso PDF.

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