Junta weapons factories attacked with heavy artillery in Magway

Two military equipment factories run by the junta’s Department of Defence Industries were reportedly attacked with heavy weapons by resistance forces in Magway Region in the early hours of Thursday morning. 

The People’s Revolution Alliance (PRA-Magway), a local anti-junta defence team, claimed that at 1am they fired artillery shells from close range into the No. 14 factory compound, located around 18km south of Ngape Township’s administrative centre.

Hercules, the PRA-Magway spokesperson, told Myanmar Now that the Myanmar army troops stationed inside did not return fire

“We got to see the explosions going off in the buildings and the buildings getting destroyed, but they didn’t retaliate at all,” he said. 

He estimated that the expense of the weapons and ammunition used in the attack, including two 107mm rockets and a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), amounted to more than 25m kyat (nearly US$12,000).

“We were extremely worried that we might not be able to deliver results worthy of the expense of the attack, so we carried out very thorough preparations in order to hit the exact spots that were required,” Hercules told Myanmar Now. 

The facility is a known producer of the military’s gunpowder supply, he added. 

Similarly, the No. 12 defence equipment factory in Thayet Township, more than 160km south of Ngape, was attacked in a similar manner at around 2am.  

Ko Myat, the information officer for Battalion 4 of the Thayet District People’s Defence Force (PDF)—a unit known as Eagle Force—said the group struck the site with two 90mm shock missiles, but only one detonated. 

“We are still waiting for confirmation from the on-ground troops regarding the destruction of the buildings,” he explained, adding that the junta forces in the factory also did not fire back. 

An improvised firing tube and a 90mm mortar round used by Battalion 4 of Thayet District PDF, known as Eagle Force (Eagle Force) 

The No. 12 facility—located near Thanpayakan village, 16km west of Thayet town—produces mortar rounds ranging in size from 60 to 120mm. 

Eagle Force, the group that attacked the factory, also reportedly ambushed a police station in Ye Myat village, also in Thayet, using a bomb attached to a drone at around 7am on Thursday. 

A range of arms—from ammunition to anti-aircraft weapons—have been made in up to 25 manufacturing facilities run by the military’s Directorate of Defence Industries, known locally by its Burmese acronym of Ka Pa Sa.

Fifteen of these factories are located in Magway, seven in Bago, two in Naypyitaw and one in Yangon, and function as part of the same network and supply chain, according to PRA-Magway spokesperson Hercules.

“Each defence equipment factory of the junta is reliant on one another and the destruction of any one of them will result in a break in the chain of the production of military equipment. I am sure that will cause them a lot of trouble,” he said, adding that the impact of the assaults on the sites in Magway could likely be felt by factories located elsewhere in the country. 

At the time of reporting, Myanmar Now was unable to verify the extent of the damage in the two attacks. 

The military council has not released any information on the incidents. 

In April of last year, three trucks carrying weapons parts from the No. 12 factory in Thayet were ambushed by members of the Pauk Township PDF, who seized the haul. 

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