Resistance alliance launches coordinated attacks on military, police units in northwest Myanmar 

An alliance of local anti-junta defence forces simultaneously attacked artillery and air force bases as well as a police station in a Magway Region town on the border with Chin State on Saturday evening, a representative of one of the resistance groups said. 

Wai La, a battalion commander within the Kyaukhtu People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Saw Township, told Myanmar Now that they had fired 10 improvised artillery shells at the military bases in the town, and 20 more at the Kyaukhtu police station. 

He said his group was accompanied by The Youth Force, which is made up of guerrilla fighters from Kyaukhtu as well as throughout Saw—which is located in the area of northwestern Myanmar known as the Yaw region. 

The allied forces reportedly exchanged gunfire for around one hour with junta troops during the attack on the police station before withdrawing.

“There could be a large number of casualties on the junta’s side. One of our people got injured as well,” Wai La said, referring to a member of the Kyaukhtu PDF who suffered a wound to his arm from the explosion of a junta artillery shell.

Myanmar Now was unable to verify the number of casualties or police officers injured on the military’s side. The military council has not released any information on the attacks.

As the resistance forces retreated, Wai La said that a military aircraft was seen arriving to provide support to the troops at the targeted police station. 

The junta columns targeted by the resistance forces had carried out previous assaults on civilians, the PDF battalion commander said, accusing the artillery unit alone of firing more than 20 mortar shells at villages around Kyaukhtu.

As of Sunday, locals said troops from those units had not carried out their regular patrols in the area, but a helicopter was reportedly seen hovering over the town on Saturday night following the clashes.

“We were sleeping at home when the attacks happened. We didn’t dare to go back to sleep after we heard the sound of heavy artillery shells being fired,” a local man told Myanmar Now.

Kyaukhtu is strategically located on the road to Chin State townships where resistance to the military has been strong, including Kanpetlet, Matupi and Mindat. Junta forces regularly pass through the town when sending reinforcements, weapons and ammunition to those areas.

In March, a major military convoy of 80 vehicles used Kyaukhtu as a rest stop for days before heading to Matupi in southern Chin State.

Defence forces in the area have been known to occasionally intercept such convoys. 

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