Mandalay PDF ‘declares war’ on junta 

Gunfire was exchanged between the regime’s armed forces and a civilian guerrilla group in Mandalay’s Chanmyatharzi Township on Tuesday morning after an attempted raid by the junta on the group’s location. 

Representatives of the Mandalay People’s Defence Force (Mandalay PDF) said that around 20 soldiers carried out the raid at around 8am, igniting one of the first clashes between a PDF and the military in a major urban area. 

“They came here because they received information about where we were. But we knew beforehand that they were coming so we had the upper hand,” said Mandalay PDF spokesperson Bo Tun Tauk Naing, adding that fighting was still ongoing at the time of reporting.

The number of casualties had not yet been confirmed. 

“The members of the public in the area have moved to safety, and we have not backed down. We’ll continue to fight,” Bo Tun Tauk Naing said. “We’ve declared war. The day we’ve been waiting for is finally here.”

At 9am he told Myanmar Now that the members of his group who had taken cover in a nearby building had been arrested by the junta’s armed forces. 

“Our other members are still shooting from outside. We don’t know how many of our members have been arrested, but we’re spread out across the entire city. It’s like losing one finger out of a whole hand,” he explained. 

Mandalay locals told Myanmar Now that the military was patrolling in the city with at least three armoured vehicles in search of suspects involved in the shootout.

The military-controlled Myawaddy TV announced on Tuesday afternoon that so-called “terrorists” had opened fire on regime troops when they went to inspect a location at the intersection of 54th and 111th streets where the resistance had allegedly been storing explosives.

The announcement claimed that “some” members of the armed forces were injured during the shootout, but did not specify a number. Myawaddy TV reported that four members of the “terrorist group” were killed and eight were arrested in possession of makeshift bombs and other light weapons. 

The announcement also said that four more people from the civilian resistance died in a car crash after their vehicle was pursued by regime troops from 53rd St.

The Mandalay PDF did not confirm the military’s claims and Myanmar Now was not able to verify the information at the time of reporting. 

A local rescue team volunteer told Myanmar Now that its members provided medical treatment to at least two civilians who were injured by rubber bullets during the Tuesday morning shootout. 

The Mandalay PDF previously targeted police and soldiers on security duty, as well as the military council’s administrative offices and the buildings of military-run businesses. 

On June 1, a regime soldier was killed and another seriously injured when the PDF members opened fire on military trucks in the city. On June 8, two policemen were shot dead.

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