Twenty-five members of armed anti-junta resistance groups, including the People’s Defence Force (PDF), were killed in two military ambushes on Friday night in Myinmu Township, Sagaing Region.
The first junta attack, near Chay Yar Taw village, 20km southwest of Myinmu town, targeted a vehicle carrying 18 guerrilla fighters travelling between Myinmu and Myaung. All of the occupants were killed, according to the spokesperson for Battalion 5 of the Sagaing District PDF.
Minutes later, another motorcycle convoy of seven resistance force members was shot at by the same unit. There were no survivors, the PDF information officer said.
The slain men were from Battalions 5 and 6 of the Sagaing District PDF, as well as the Kyawt Min village defence team in Myinmu Township. They had reportedly been attempting to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) escape to safety from occupied locations near Chay Yar Taw at the time they were intercepted.
“When the military launched an offensive against those villages, my comrades from my battalion were returning home on leave—they and their friends attempted to evacuate the IDPs,” the PDF spokesperson said. “They escaped during the first attempt [to attack them]. Then, when they went back to help the remaining IDPs, they were attacked again and killed.”
Photos released by pro-junta Telegram channels of the aftermath of the ambushes showed a burning vehicle, bodies of men lying in a pool of blood, and eight guns, presumably seized by the military. Social media posts by these entities claimed that a police battalion near Chay Yar Taw killed the 25 guerrilla force members, who they said were from a resistance group based in Myitnge, a town near Mandalay.
The bodies of the victims were left at the scene and buried by their relatives and battalions on Saturday afternoon.