Resistance coalition forced to retreat after launching fatal attack on police station in Pauk Township 

A joint force of armed resistance groups attacked a police station in northern Pauk Township in Magway Region on Tuesday night, reportedly killing seven police officers, according to representatives of one of the groups involved. 

Two members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) in neighbouring Myaing Township told Myanmar Now that, accompanied by the Underground Revolution Force of Pauk Township (URF-Pauk), they attacked the police station in Zee Pyar village at 9pm. 

They said that 20 policemen immediately fled the station and based themselves on a nearby hill when the battle started, and retaliated with fire from both heavy and light weapons, forcing the resistance coalition to retreat after 30 minutes of fighting. 

“We didn’t manage to torch the station. There were only police officers present and no soldiers. We initially planned to occupy the station but they started employing heavy weapons, so we had to retreat,” a Myaing PDF member explained.

The PDF did not disclose how many troops they employed in the attack, but two of its members were reportedly injured in the clash. 

A resident of Zee Pyar village said they heard the police firing their guns all night but that no civilians were harmed. The following morning, several villagers fled their homes after plainclothes junta soldiers arrived at Zee Pyar police station on 15 motorbikes. 

“This has never happened before in our village. This was the first time,” the villager said of the shootout.

He explained that located just 12 miles south of Zee Pyar is the military’s No. 24 factory, which was once rumoured to produce chemical weapons, a claim which the army has denied. The chief executive officer and four reporters from the Unity Journal, which published a 2014 report outlining the allegations against the factory, were sued by the military that year and imprisoned for violating the Official Secrets Act. 

Myanmar Now was unable to verify the state of the factory’s current operations or what it is producing.

The villager said that residents of Zee Pyar fled because they were scared that the junta’s armed forces would use the alleged weapons from the factory to terrorise the community, as troops have been raiding other villages in Pauk and surrounding townships. 

Myanmar Now was unable to make contact with the junta to obtain comment regarding the resistance forces’ attack on the police station in Pauk. 

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