PDF fighters killed while preparing for attack to stop junta advance in Magway

Five members of the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) and one civilian were killed by the military during raids on the border between Magway Region’s Pauk and Myaing townships this week, locals and sources within the resistance said. 

In response to a series of assaults on villages in southern Myaing last week by a 100-soldier junta column, the local PDF chapter and village defence teams from both Myaing and Pauk had prepared to launch a collaborative attack. 

The groups were planning to strike the military unit in Pauk Township’s Say Pin Gyi village on Tuesday when the resistance fighters were ambushed and killed. 

Let Yar, a Myaing PDF battalion commander, told Myanmar Now that a vehicle carrying seven of his members, as well as a number of improvised explosive devices, came under attack by Myanmar army troops in the jungle. 

“The PDF members were coming to help with the explosives, but they were intercepted by the military,” he said.

Only two of the guerrilla force members in the vehicle that day survived and escaped. 

“There wasn’t exactly a proper shootout as it was just the military firing heavy artillery shells. Our troops only had light weapons,” Let Yar said. “Some of the victims initially survived but the military beat them to death.”

He did not disclose the identities of those killed, citing concerns for their families’ security. 

The next morning, the junta’s forces also reportedly killed a villager and torched his home near Let Khote Pin in Myaing, six miles from Say Pin Gyi, after they ran into him during their advance. He was identified by locals as 27-year-old Zaw Min Oo, a farmer who lived in a hut one mile west of the village.

Area defence forces have also claimed that at least 35 civilians were taken hostage by the military during the recent series of raids. Their location and condition was not known at the time of reporting. 

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