Resistance fighters attack junta’s forces in southeastern Myanmar 

People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters had a shootout with junta soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee militiamen in Tanintharyi Region on Tuesday morning, before retreating when more soldiers arrived in plain clothes and civilian vehicles, the PDF said. 

The resistance fighters launched the attack in Palaw Town’s Htamin Masar village, where the junta’s forces have been stationed for more than five months, a spokesperson for the Palaw PDF said. “Junta reinforcements arrived during the attack,” he told Myanmar Now. 

It is unclear if anyone was injured in the clash. “There weren’t any casualties on our side but we are not too sure if any of them were hit,” the PDF spokesperson said. “However, we saw two ambulances arrive, so I think it’s safe to assume two to three of them were hit.” 

The Palaw PDF worked with another local resistance group to carry out the attack, he added. The roughly 30 reinforcement troops who arrived were from Regional Command 12, which is based in nearby Palauk Town, he added.  

There were several other clashes in January and February in the villages of Sar Khe, Pa Wut Phyar, Pa Wut Kone, Kabyar and Letpan Pyin, he said, adding that a 35-year-old resistance fighter died during one clash. 

A resident of Htamin Masar told Myanmar Now that since those clashes started, Pyu Saw Htee members have been terrorising villagers on a daily basis by firing their guns in the street and swearing. He said he would like to leave but needs to stay for the sake of his local business.  

“I’m afraid to move to somewhere else as it could destabilise my business,” he said.

Htamin Masar sits at the side of the main road linking Palaw to the coastal town of Dawei.

The Pyu Saw Htee fighters in the village are members of the military’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) who were trained and armed by soldiers after last year’s coup, the local resident said. 

“We have to live in fear as they keep threatening us everyday,” he said. “There’s nothing we can do either, since they have weapons.”

Some 950 civilians have been arrested and 69 killed by the junta’s forces in Tanintharyi since the coup, while 4,000 have been displaced by violence, according to the Thanlwin Times, a local news outlet. 

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