Resistance forces intercept junta convoy, seize military trucks in Karenni State

A resistance alliance seized two military trucks and multiple weapons from a junta convoy that they ambushed in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Hpruso Township over a period of three days last week, the groups reported. 

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) and the Karenni Army started a series of attacks on vehicles within the 28-vehicle convoy, which was bringing military supplies from Bawlakhe to Hpruso, on May 31.

A junta column marching on foot ahead of the vehicles in order to secure the route for the trucks clashed with the guerrilla forces in Hpruso’s Htar Le village that day. Several soldiers were reportedly killed in the six-hour battle, according to KNDF information officer Khu Reedu. 

The next day, the convoy in question was attacked for a second time near Law Kyay Khu village, three miles from Htar Le, and again in the same location on June 2 in a day-long clash in which the junta launched multiple airstrikes at around 3pm.  

Weapons, ammunition and supplies seized by the Karenni Army and KNDF from the military (Supplied)

Khu Reedu explained that the KNDF and Karenni Army blocked the road ahead before launching the attacks, cutting off some vehicles from the larger unit. 

“The two trucks that we managed to seize were the ones that were catching up with the convoy… As they retreated, we drove two of their trucks back to our base,” he said.

Photos seen by Myanmar Now indicated that in addition to the trucks, resistance forces seized four rifles, an anti-drone weapon, and uniforms indicating that the troops were from Light Infantry Division 66.  

The KNDF spokesperson added that the junta abandoned multiple vehicles which they had placed on the highway in an attempt to stop the resistance forces’ advances. 

“Some of the trucks that they used to block the road were destroyed but there wasn’t anyone inside them. I think they went and hid somewhere more secure,” he said. 

By noon on June 3, the convoy was effectively trapped around Law Kyay Khu and tension remained high. Khu Reedu urged the public to avoid using the highway through the area. 

He estimated that some 20 junta troops may have been killed during the clashes between May 31 and June 2, but Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the number of casualties.

One resistance fighter was reportedly injured in the fighting. 

Karenni Army and KNDF soldiers are pictured with seized weapons, ammunition and supplies (Supplied)

A member of the Karenni Army told Myanmar Now that they had anticipated the arrival of the convoy for around a week after receiving intel concerning troop movements.

Junta forces typically travel between the No. 14 military training center in Hpruso to Bawlakhe Township, where a tactical base is located, in order to resupply their troops. 

The Karenni Army and KNDF coalition also attacked a junta convoy of 39 vehicles heading towards Bawlakhe on the same highway on May 22. 

Military jets have reportedly been seen hovering over the state in recent days, with members of the resistance speculating that the junta has been transporting staff to serve in its administrative mechanism in Bawlakhe and Hpasawng townships. 

According to a June 3 KNDF statement, the military fired heavy artillery around villages in Loikaw township, injuring one man and two women. 

Junta forces have also been carrying out assaults on Karenni villages in southern Shan State since last month, including those along the eastern shores of Pekhon Lake, as well as Ma Hkay Hkam, Saung Nang Khae and Nang Paw Lon, all located along the military’s route into neighbouring Karenni State. 

Similar attacks have been occurring in Demoso Township, the KNDF reported, with the military occupying the village of Daw Ngan Khar. 

The junta does not typically release information on its activities or movements in Karenni State. 

Some 61 battles took place between the KNDF and the military in May, according to a statement released by the group on June 2. Some five troops were taken prisoner and 107 believed to have been killed, the report said. 

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