The Naypyitaw People’s Defence Force (PDF) launched four long-range rockets at the base of a Lewe Township-based Myanmar military battalion on Monday, members of the resistance group said.
One of the weapons hit the inside of the compound housing Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 604 and three exploded outside the walls of the site, a PDF officer told Myanmar Now, adding that the extent of the damage was not confirmed.
The base, from which the LIB carries out operations for another strategic junta post in Karen State’s Thandaunggyi Township, is located near the village of Aung Nan Cho in southeastern Naypyitaw.
Two residents of the surrounding area who spoke to Myanmar Now on the condition of anonymity confirmed that the attack by the resistance took place in the way that the PDF officer described, noting that the junta forces fired two artillery shells back in the direction of the guerrilla forces.
“We heard six loud bangs, but we initially thought that someone was blowing up mountains to mine gemstones,” one of the local men said. “We only later found out that it was an attack.”
That evening, the military issued an order to civilians in the area not to leave their homes, and to keep their lights off, although they did not elaborate as to why.
Some 30 soldiers were seen heading east from the LIB 604 base on Tuesday morning, the two locals said. A clash broke out that afternoon between the column in question and local resistance forces in the woods two miles outside of Aung Nan Cho, with gunshots and heavy weapons fired and a junta convoy seen travelling through the area that evening.
Maj Hein Zan Tun, the 38-year-old commander of LIB 604, was said to have been injured in the clash, but Myanmar Now was unable to confirm this account.
“The revolutionary forces are gradually marching towards Naypyitaw in a strategic manner, in line with our one-year plan and the directives of the chain of command with the defence department of the NUG,” the PDF officer said, referring to the publicly mandated National Unity Government, from which it takes orders.
Using two long-range artillery shells, the PDF previously attacked the junta’s Air Force Defence Base No. 2031, located in the hills east of the border between Lewe and Pyinmana townships, on February 22.
Explosions also went off around Naypyitaw for three consecutive days in late February and early March, including one which occurred at the home of an advisor to the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party. The Sittaung Urban Guerrilla Force claimed responsibility for that attack.