Local defence force predicts escalation of military assaults on Shan-Karenni border

The anti-junta Moebye People’s Defence Force (MB-PDF) in southern Shan State attacked a security outpost of the Myanmar army’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 422 on Saturday morning, a PDF officer said. 

The resistance force had waited from 1am until 6am to launch the ambush on the unit, according to a statement claiming that at least three soldiers were killed in the 30-minute clash. 

Aung Min, a battalion commander in the MB-PDF, told Myanmar Now that the junta forces retaliated by firing heavy artillery in their direction, forcing the fighters to eventually retreat. Two members of the guerrilla group were reportedly injured, with one in critical condition. 

Myanmar Now has yet to confirm the details of the Saturday battle. 

The military has not released a statement on the incident.

LIB 422 occupies an area near the Balu Chaung hydroelectric power plant in Karenni State’s Loikaw Township and also guards the Moebye Dam, which is the primary source of water to the plant.

The MB-PDF reportedly attacked another checkpoint in the area on May 12 that was jointly manned by Myanmar army soldiers and members of the Pa-O National Army. The move prompted the junta troops to block roads east of Moebye Dam, Aung Min said. 

“The situation in Moebye is very likely to get much more serious. The military might launch assaults very soon,” he added.

He added that the junta’s forces had already attacked villages on the border separating Moebye and Loikaw, including the communities of Wah Yee Kaw Khu and Sao Kan.

On Friday, the PDF chapters in Karenni State’s Demoso and Hpruso townships reported carrying out a collaborative ambush of the central police station in Demoso, resulting in two casualties on the military’s side and three members of the resistance suffering injuries, according to a statement. 

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