Resistance forces attack military supply column in Tanintharyi

While struggling to supply its own forces in the southern region via overland routes, the military regime has severely restricted the transport of rice to impede food supplies to resistance groups

A convoy carrying supplies for the army through Tanintharyi Township on Saturday triggered explosives set in its path by the Myeik District People’s Defence Force (PDF), resistance sources said. 

The PDF fighters, who operate under the command of the publicly mandated, anti-junta National Unity Government (NUG) were able to intercept the supply column despite its attempt to evade mines and resistance ambushes by travelling through the woods rather than on main roads.

The column triggered the explosives between the villages of Ban Kyoke and Kywe Htein Kwin, some ten miles east of Tanintharyi, as it carried supplies from the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 561 base near Tanintharyi to some 80 junta troops stationed in a camp east of town, a spokesperson for Battalion 2 of the Myeik District PDF said.

“That’s the way they always went. On November 4, we intercepted the food supply column and they fought with us. They were trapped there until November 6, with clashes breaking out repeatedly,” said the information officer.

According to resistance sources, six junta soldiers were killed and five were injured in the fighting, during which the anti-junta fighters managed to seize ammunition. Three PDF fighters were also injured. 

Myanmar Now could not independently verify the casualties on the junta side.

According to the resistance forces’ intelligence, the supply team appeared to have returned to the LIB 561 base outside Tanintharyi the day after the clashes ended. 

There are six junta battalions stationed in Tanintharyi Township, as well as other soldiers manning smaller military outposts. Clashes with local resistance groups occur frequently. 

According to the Myeik District PDF spokesperson, the resistance plans to continue carrying out assaults on junta forces in the southern region during the approaching dry season. 

“We didn’t have enough weapons but we put up a fight and took all the weapons we could get. We’re still in need of ammunition,” he said. 

The military junta has imposed severe restrictions on the transport of rice In Tanintharyi Township. A local man, who asked that his name be withheld, said this was probably due to the junta’s desire to impede supplies of food to the PDF.

“It’s not allowed to ship rice into Tanintharyi Township now, so there is a shortage and the price has risen sharply,” he said. 

Most of the rice bought in Tanintharyi Township used to be shipped in from Myeik and other nearby areas, but military checkpoints at the township’s boundaries now limit the number of rice sacks that trucks can bring in. The price of a sack of rice has shot up from 75,000 kyat (US $36), the previous maximum, to over 100,000 kyat (US $48). 

Junta authorities have arrested rice truck drivers and confiscated rice shipments at least three times in the area. According to local residents, they stopped two rice trucks last Friday at the Bodhi Kan Bridge checkpoint outside Tanintharyi’s urban centre, detaining the drivers and confiscating their consignments. 

Tanintharyi Region, the southernmost region of Myanmar, became a resistance stronghold following the 2021 military coup, and the army’s arson attacks on villages and other violence against civilians in the region have forced thousands to flee their homes.
The military is currently mounting a counter-offensive in Myanmar’s south, including Tanintharyi Region, in response to the takeover of strategically important roads and supply routes this year by the Karen National Liberation Army, an ethnic armed organisation, and allied PDF fighters.

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