Resistance force claims victory in clashes with military in Myanmar’s southernmost district

A local defence force based in Tanintharyi Region’s Kawthaung District has claimed that they managed to kill three Myanmar army soldiers, confiscate weapons and occupy a police station during a series of battles in recent days. 

The first in the series of clashes broke out at 5pm on Saturday east of the town of Pyi Gyi Mandai in Bokepyin Township, according to the anti-junta Kawthaung District Defence Force (KDDF). The group, which is part of the National Unity Government’s Tanintharyi Region Military Command, released a statement on Tuesday describing the incidents, which occurred near the Thai border. 

The next day at 11am, the guerrilla group reportedly raided the Pakari village police station in neighbouring Dawei—10 miles east of the township’s administrative centre—forcing a retreat from the site by the junta’s troops.

As of Tuesday, the KDDF still had control of the location and was occupying the building. 

In the initial fight near Pyi Gyi Mandai, KDDF reported that three junta soldiers were killed and that they managed to seize at least three guns, ammunition, and a mortar shell. 

“They fired shots first to scare us and it resulted in a clash. We managed to retreat successfully. However, I heard they’re sending more reinforcements,” KDDF deputy commander Moe Gyo said. 

Around 300 troops were still patrolling the area and tension remained high, he added. 

An information officer for the Tanintharyi Region Military Command told Myanmar Now that it appeared the junta’s forces would try to reclaim control of the Pakari village police station in Dawei as reinforcement troops were seen travelling along the east-west road connecting Tiki, on the Thai border, with Dawei. 

“They parked their vehicles three miles from the village and started firing shells. We are based in the police station we seized from them. They’re randomly firing heavy weapons because they want it back,” the information officer, who goes by the pseudonym “Joker,” told Myanmar Now. 

The use of artillery by the military displaced more than 5,000 civilians from Pakari and the surrounding villages, Joker said. 

The military council has not released any information on the fighting in southern Tanintharyi. 

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