Resistance groups fight for control of Tigyaing

Days after the nearby town of Kawlin fell to anti-junta forces, the military deployed airstrikes and set up concrete fortifications at a police station to defend Tigyaing from anti-junta attacks

The junta air force struck Tigyaing, Sagaing Region, on Wednesday afternoon as anti-junta armed groups mounted assaults in an effort to take the town, resistance sources said. 

The anti-junta forces set up temporary roadblocks on the Tagaung-Tigyaing-Indaw highway at around 3:30pm before the fighting in Tigyaing began. 

At least three junta aircraft flew over their positions after 4pm and initiated an airstrike, and another two aircraft joined the attack an hour later, according to a member of the Tigyaing People’s Defence Forces (PDF).

On the initial attack, the three aircraft reportedly bombed two monasteries and caused several casualties, according to a post on the “Tigyaing People’s Defence” Facebook page. 

However, the PDF spokesperson who spoke with Myanmar Now could not confirm that the monasteries were hit. 

“Five helicopters came to attack us but we’re still not sure if they hit the monasteries. They conducted the airstrikes in succession; one after 4pm and one at around 5:40pm,” the PDF member said on Wednesday evening.

As clashes occurred throughout Tigyaing, the army troops remaining in the town withdrew to a police station. According to the Tigyaing PDF member who participated in the battle, junta staff at the general administration office also moved to the station, and another fierce battle broke out as the soldiers defended the building from attacks by the anti-junta forces.

Tigyaing on a map of Sagaing Region (MIMU)

“They’re only in a couple of places in the town now,” he said, referring to the remaining junta personnel in Tigyaing. “The administrators had already joined the troops at the police station when the fighting started.”

Some local civilians were also reportedly killed in the fighting, as not all residents had the opportunity to evacuate before the battle began. The details and exact figures have yet to be verified. 

“There were some civilian casualties in the bomb attacks, but we weren’t unable to confirm how many,” the Tigyaing PDF member said.

Some local civilians have left Tigyaing and the surrounding area since Monday, when anti-junta forces took control of the town of Kawlin, Sagaing Region, located some 50 miles to the west. 

Local residents reported that the administrative offices were all closed and that the junta troops had set up concrete fortifications at the police station.

The Brotherhood Alliance—a tripartite alliance of which the AA is a member—acknowledged in a public statement on October 30 that AA forces had taken part in Operation 1027 assaults in Tigyaing Township a few days earlier. Members of the PDF and local resistance groups were also involved in the joint attacks.

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