Myanmar junta casualties mount as fight for control of key outpost continues 

Myanmar’s military has suffered heavy losses in its bid to retain control of an outpost near the country’s border with Thailand, according to a group involved in the fighting.

The outpost, located some 150 meters from the Thai border in the village of Oo Ka Yit Hta, in Karen (Kayin) State’s Myawaddy Township, has been under attack since June 26.

In response, the Myanmar military has carried out multiple airstrikes targeting Karen National Union (KNU) forces and their allies taking part in the offensive.

The regime has since claimed in state media that it has largely regained control over the area. 

In a pair of videos posted to social media on Monday, however, the Cobra Column, a group fighting alongside troops from the Karen National Liberation Army and the Karen National Defence Organisation, countered this claim, showing that regime forces continue to come under attack.

“We wanted to show the public that most of the junta’s reinforcements sent into the area were fatally attacked by our members,” a spokesperson for the group told Myanmar Now.

“The military’s propaganda mouthpieces claimed that they have seized a strategic hill near the outpost, but in the drone footage that we have released, you can see the bodies of dead or injured junta soldiers piled up in a ditch,” he said.

According to the Cobra Column spokesperson, the two sides continue to clash despite the military’s use of airstrikes and heavy artillery to crush the KNU-led forces.

The regime carried out a total of 125 aerial assaults between June 27 and July 1, he said. As of Monday, the Karen forces and their allies had lost 13 members, he added.

The airstrikes have also killed at least two civilians and injured six, according to a Cobra Column statement released on Saturday.

Hundreds of locals from Oo Ka Yit Hta and neighbouring villages have also been displaced by the fighting.

Last week, Thai air force authorities reported that at least one Myanmar jet intruded into Thai airspace while carrying out airstrikes on the Karen forces.

The Royal Thai Air Force later filed a formal complaint with Myanmar junta officials over the incident, prompting an official apology, Thai media reported.

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