Resistance forces destroy strategic bridge in eastern Bago Region

An allied force of Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People’s Defence Force (PDF) troops blew up a strategically important bridge over the Sittaung River in eastern Bago Region’s Kyaukkyi Township on Tuesday.

In a series of coordinated pre-dawn attacks, the resistance forces also hit a police station in the town of Nat Than Kwin, where the bridge is located, as well as two police outposts and military targets in two nearby villages.

“The main purpose was to destroy the Nat Than Kwin Bridge, which is of great importance to the military,” said Tin Oo, the deputy commander of the PDF’s Region 2, which took part in the operation.

The bridge in question connects the town of Penwegon, which is on the main highway west of the Sittaung River, and junta bases in Kyaukkyi Township, which is in KNLA Brigade 3 territory.

The destruction of the bridge triggered clashes that lasted through the morning, until airstrikes forced the anti-junta groups to retreat, according to Tin Oo. Some 30 regime troops and four resistance fighters were killed in the fighting, he added.

There were also reports of civilian casualties, but Myanmar Now was unable to find out any further information about them at the time of reporting.

The regime’s airstrikes and shelling continued until the evening, damaging several houses and forcing more than 10,000 locals to flee, according to Tin Oo.

Following the attack, the PDF released photos of weapons and ammunition seized from the military.

The destruction of the Nat Than Kwin Bridge came just days after the KNLA’s Brigade 6 reportedly killed 10 junta troops in Kyainseikgyi Township, Karen (Kayin) State, last Friday.

In a statement released earlier this week, the ethnic Karen armed group said that junta airstrikes and shelling carried out after that attack killed three civilians and injured another three. Several religious buildings were also damaged, it added.

There have also been reports of damage to a primary school, four houses, and several farms after a military aircraft dropped a bomb on the village of San Hpala in Karen State’s Kawkareik Township at around 1am on Tuesday.

Regime forces have reportedly been using heavy equipment to tear up roads connecting villages in Kyainseikgyi and Kawkareik townships since early May, following a series of attacks on junta convoys carrying supplies to troops in Kyainseikgyi.

Late last month, junta shelling damaged a monastery and injured five civilians, including a monk and two novices, in Mon State’s Bilin Township, which is controlled by KNLA Brigade 1.

Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of Myanmar’s coup regime, has accused ethnic armed groups that have been helping the PDF, formed by the shadow National Unity Government, of treason and vowed to punish them for their actions.

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