Karenni resistance force claims at least 80 regime soldiers killed in Demoso

At least 80 regime soldiers were killed during a clash with local fighters in Kayah (Karenni) State’s Demoso Township on Monday, the Karenni resistance force said. 

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), which officially formed on Monday, said its members seized a 60mm mortar launcher and around 20 light arms from regime soldiers after Monday’s shootout.  

The group is a combined force of civilian fighters from across the Karenni territories—including Pekhon Township in southern Shan State—and ethnic armed organisations active in the areas. 

Around 150 Myanmar military soldiers from the Kayah State capital of Loikaw advanced to Kone Thar village in Demoso at around 1:30pm on Monday and clashed head-on with the KNDF.

“The KNDF members managed to defend themselves well as we had consolidated our troops and readied our weapons,” said its statement.

One member told Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity that the KNDF had ambushed regime soldiers who had stationed themselves at a chicken farm in Kone Thar village.

He said that the military suffered heavy casualties because its soldiers were not from local units and were therefore unfamiliar with the region, and lacked reinforcements. 

“They had no support during the clash. The public is supporting our people’s defence teams. We gathered information and we took the upper hand. I think that’s why they suffered more casualties,” he said.

In retaliation, the military used helicopters, jet fighters and heavy artillery to strike the Karenni resistance forces near Kone Thar village. The KNDF reported that one of their members was killed and six others were injured in that assault. 

The KNDF members were forced to retreat from the area due to the attacks by the regime forces from both land and air.

On Tuesday morning, the shootouts between the junta soldiers and the Karenni resistance forces continued in Demoso, with the military again using heavy artillery to attack the KNDF, the group said.

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