Karenni Army attack on military vehicle kills four junta troops, resistance group says

A Karenni Army (KA) ambush on a Myanmar army vehicle in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Shadaw Township on Thursday killed all four junta troops inside, according to an officer from the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP). 

Aung San Myint, deputy secretary of the KNPP, told Myanmar Now that the vehicle was carrying the commander of Infantry Battalion (IB) 134 based in Hpasawng Township, but that the attack was not planned. 

“Our group was out and about and ran into their vehicle, so we clashed,” he said, adding that the commander in question was likely a major, but the ranks of the other three men could not be determined because they were not in full uniform at the time of the attack. 

“It was just one vehicle that we clashed with, and this is our territory. I wouldn’t say they were trespassing as we were both operating in the region,” Aung San Myint explained. 

Daily battles have been breaking out between the military and the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, which is comprised of the KA, KNPP and several local guerrilla groups in Karenni territory. 

The clashes will not end until the coup regime, which seized power in February, falls, Aung San Myint said. 

“The current battles are not just between us—the ethnic armed organisations—and the military. They’re the battles of the people of Myanmar. The military is now surrounded by their enemies everywhere,” the deputy secretary told Myanmar Now. 

Despite having more firepower, a lack of familiarity with the geography of the region was proving to be a major setback to the junta’s armed forces, he said. 

The KNPP was founded in 1957. They signed a ceasefire with the military regime in 1995 which was repealed just three months later. The group signed a state-level ceasefire again in 2012. 

Local defence forces have claimed that between 200 and 300 junta soldiers had been killed in fighting since May 2021, compared to less than 100 resistance fighters.  

The military has not released any statements regarding their own casualties. 

Myanmar Now remains unable to independently confirm these figures. 

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