PDF fighters use explosives to attack dozens of junta soldiers marching in Sagaing

People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters in Sagaing Region’s Pale Township used handmade explosives to attack a column of 70 soldiers marching on foot on Wednesday evening, killing or injuring an estimated 25 of them.

A spokesperson for Pale PDF Headquarters, which is under the command of the National Unity Government, said the junta soldiers were stationed at the village of Wanbe Chaing, some 20 miles west of the town of Pale.

They were marching along the road connecting Pale to Gangaw near the Nagama hill when the ambush happened, he added.

“We still don’t know the exact number of casualties but many of them were injured,” said the  spokesperson. The explosives used in the attack were planted in the paths of the soldiers and detonated with the pull of a string by nearby resistance fighters. 

The junta soldiers began firing their weapons in random directions after the attack, the spokesperson added, but the PDF fighters retreated without firing back. Myanmar Now was unable to contact local residents for help confirming the number of junta casualties. 

The 70 soldiers were part of a group sent to reinforce a military unit that raided the house of ousted National League for Democracy MP Zaw Htet in Mintaingpin village on November 5 and subsequently came under attack by resistance forces.

The MP was not home when about 30 junta troops arrived and stole things from the house. Some of his family members fled to avoid arrest. The troops were ambushed by the PDf shortly after the raid.

Thaw Zin and Private Soe Yarzar Aung were killed while in the custody of resistance fighters (PRA)

The reinforcements arrived the day after that ambush in five military trucks from the junta’s Northwestern Command.

Several resistance groups have launched repeated attacks against soldiers trying to enter Gangaw Township along the road from Magway Region recently. 

Self-organising Pale PDF fighters, under the command of a leader called Naga, have launched attacks, as have the Pale PDF Headquarters and another group called the People’s Revolutionary Army (PRA). 

On November 6 the PRA captured, and later killed, two junta soldiers who were transporting supplies in a civilian vehicle on the road. 

The captured soldiers were Captain Thaw Zin and Private Soe Yarzar Aung, who both worked at a military factory in Magway Region. The video showed the men sitting beside guns with their hands untied.

The PRA later said it had killed the two men because they had tried to escape and seize their weapons. The PRA took supplies, bulletproof vests, and over 10 million kyat from the men and burned their vehicle, it said. 

“They tried to escape and get the weapons during their interrogation, so we killed them both,” said Japan Gyi, the PRA’s spokesperson.

The junta has not commented publicly on the recent clashes near the border between Sagaing and Magway.

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