NUG warns of plans to escalate attacks in Yangon and neighbouring regions 

A wave of explosions and shootings in Yangon on Monday was just part of a wider operation that is set to see an increase in attacks on regime targets in Yangon, Bago, and Ayeyarwady regions, Myanmar’s underground government has warned.

The operation, dubbed Pyan Hlwar Aung, was launched following the declaration of a “resistance war” by the National Unity Government (NUG) in September.   

Meaning “swallow” in English, Operation Pyan Hlwar Aung aims to emulate the swift-flying bird by carrying out rapid attacks on junta forces and other targets associated with the regime that seized power in February. 

On Monday, there were at least 14 separate attacks in Yangon, according to a spokesperson for the Yangon Division Command, which operates under the NUG’s Ministry of Defence.

The spokesperson said that resistance forces detonated at least 10 bombs at various locations in and around Myanmar’s former capital, while four direct attacks on regime forces resulted in at least eight junta casualties.

In Thaketa Township, three soldiers and two traffic police were shot dead by members of the NUG’s People’s Defence Force (PDF) near the Thanlyin Bridge at around 11am, he said. 

Although Myanmar Now was unable to confirm this report, a local resident said the road leading to the bridge was closed for about an hour at around the time of the alleged shooting.

The resident said that he also saw around 15 cars loaded with soldiers and police leave the area for neighbouring Dawbon Township at around 5pm.

A policeman and a traffic officer sit together in a street in Yangon (EPA)

At roughly the same time as the shooting in Thaketa, a police outpost in Htantabin Township, north of Yangon, came under attack, leaving at least three police officers dead, according to the Yangon Division Command spokesperson.

A resident of the area who witnessed the incident said that two people—a motorist and a child—were injured when police started shooting after the attackers fled the scene.

“The PDFs drove off after the shooting. The junta forces came out after a while and started shooting at random. Two people were injured because of them,” the eyewitness said.

Later in the day, one man was reportedly killed and three others were arrested near Htantabin after regime forces opened fire on a vehicle suspected of carrying PDF members.

According to the Yangon Division Command spokesperson, the victims of that attack were not involved with the NUG’s military operations.

“They were not associated with Operation Pyan Hlwar Aung. We can strongly confirm that,” he said.

The spokesperson added that he did not have any information regarding casualties from two other attacks on Monday. Those attacks, which both took place in Hlaing Tharyar Township, near a stadium and a fire station, were carried out using a 40mm grenade launcher, he said.

According to the spokesperson, a number of other recent attacks, including one on a convoy that included two junta ministers traveling between Chaungtha and Pathein in western Ayeyarwady Region, and another in Kawhmu Township last Friday, were also part of Operation Pyan Hlwar Aung.

In late October, the Yangon Division Command announced that its forces had clashed with the military a total of 99 times and carried out a total of 256 bomb attacks as part of the operation, which is being conducted under the NUG’s Southern Regional Command.

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