PDF ambushes pro-junta force in Magway Region, captures weapons

Resistance fighters claim to have killed seven military and allied personnel and seized their guns in a surprise attack in Yesagyo Township, Magway Region, on Sunday evening. 

Members of Battalion 3 of the Pakokku District People’s Defence Force (PDF) encountered a pro-junta column riding in two vehicles down the Pakokku-Yesagyo road, three miles north of the village of Pa Khan Gyi and west of the lower Chindwin River.

The two civilian vehicles in the convoy were described as similar to a CR-V sport utility vehicle and a Super Custom van.

The attack on the pro-junta fighters lasted for about five minutes and some in the leading vehicle drove away after sustaining injuries, according to a spokesperson from Battalion 3.

“​​Some of the fighters jumped from the cars and escaped. Seven of them in the rear car were killed and we seized their weapons. They didn’t have the chance to return fire at all,” the Battalion 3 officer said.

The two vehicles carrying the armed troops departed from the army’s Infantry Battalion 258 base near Fulon village in Yesagyo Township, and the attack occurred as they were on their way to the village of Hinthar some 20km south of Yesagyo. 

They were in plainclothes and the PDF could not verify if they were soldiers or junta-allied Pyu Saw Htee militia members. 

Captured junta weapons (Supplied)

Battalion 3 released a statement on Tuesday claiming to have seized six carbines, one MA4 rifle, and some bombs and projectile ammunition during the ambush. In the field, “carbine” usually refers to a light weapon carried by members of the Pyu Saw Htee. 

After the ambush, Battalion 3 released photos showing a dead body near a bullet-riddled vehicle and four more bodies inside the same vehicle. The photo of the driver’s body shows a tattoo of the national flag of Myanmar on his neck.

In addition to the troops who were killed immediately, there were three pro-junta fighters in the CR-V-type vehicle who escaped, but later died at a hospital, the Battalion 3 officer said.

More than 70 junta soldiers came to retrieve the bodies shortly after the attack. While they were in the area, they torched and destroyed several nearby huts, the Battalion 3 officer added.

Among the deceased was Aung Naing Moe, leader of the Pyu Saw Htee militia of Hinthar. According to the Battalion 3 spokesperson, the remaining Pyu Saw Htee militia members of that village are now said to be joining forces with Pyu Saw Htee groups in neighbouring villages. 

The military council has not released a statement regarding the ambush.

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