Myanmar junta chief announces plans for stronger push into resistance strongholds

Min Aung Hlaing said on Thursday that his regime would intensify its campaign to defeat “terrorists” in Sagaing Region and Chin and Karenni states

Myanmar junta leader Min Aung Hlaing announced on Thursday that his regime plans to redouble its efforts to crush resistance forces in Sagaing Region and Chin and Karenni (Kayah) states.

Speaking at a meeting held in Naypyitaw, he urged both military and civilian officials to “work harder for public security” in the three parts of the country that have become strongholds of groups opposed to military rule.

In his remarks, which were broadcast late Thursday evening on junta-controlled television channels, he called the restive areas “the places where terrorism is the worst.”

The announcement comes amid a number of setbacks for the regime in its attempts to quell an uprising triggered by its brutal crackdowns on anti-coup protests that began shortly after it seized power in February 2021.

In Karenni State, the military has been forced to abandon its outposts in Mese Township, which borders Thailand, after a Border Guard Force under its command announced its defection to the anti-junta resistance.

The military has also suffered heavy losses in Sagaing Region and Chin State due to attacks by revolutionary forces targeting outposts and supply lines.

While Min Aung Hlaing did not spell out his plans for escalation of the conflict, his regime has relied heavily on airstrikes and shelling to push back against the resistance forces.

The military’s indiscriminate attacks have taken a heavy toll on local civilian populations, resulting in thousands of casualties and the displacement of more than a million people since the conflict began, according to monitor groups.

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