Several outgunned resistance fighters killed in Magway Region military ambush 

Content warning: This report contains graphic images of human remains

Eight members of a local resistance team and a seven-year-old girl were killed by the junta’s forces in separate attacks in Magway Region’s Seikphyu Township this week, according to local sources. 

A Myanmar military unit of some 30 troops ambushed 21 members of the Seikphyu Bamati Defence Team and another local resistance force in a wooded area near the village of Kyun Chaung in the west of Seikphyu on Monday evening as they were travelling on 10 motorbikes between villages, one of the team’s officers, Ko Paing, told Myanmar Now. 

“Our own troops were only armed with single-shot guns. If only we’d had just two rifles, so many of our members wouldn’t have died,” he said. 

Five of those killed were men and three were women, he added, all of whom were in their 20s and had previously been enrolled at university prior to the February 2021 coup. 

The defence team’s commander, whose name was not confirmed at the time of reporting, was also among the casualties. 

“The leader could have survived but he noticed that his comrades were left behind, so he provided cover for them so that they could escape, and he died,” said Ko Paing, adding that the surviving members of the defence team escaped by climbing up a cliff. 

Ko Paing said that the junta troops burned the bodies of the slain resistance fighters beyond recognition, along with three of the group’s motorbikes, seizing the remaining seven. 

He speculated that the military had received intel that the defence team would be passing through the area that day, and noted that two scouts for the local resistance had been captured by the soldiers one hour prior to the ambush. 

The burned bodies of of the Seikphyu township defence team members killed in a January 2 junta ambush (Supplied) 

One day earlier, on Sunday, the military opened fire indiscriminately on Seikphyu’s Htamakauk village using heavy and light weapons after two local anti-junta defence teams used drones to bomb a nearby school occupied by some 50 soldiers. 

Seven-year-old Amy Khine was killed in the junta’s retaliatory attack, and a woman was injured in the arm by shrapnel, according to David, the deputy officer of the Seikphyu Township People’s Defence Team, which was involved in the drone strike on the troops.

“Everyone started running when they started firing weapons, but the child couldn’t run. She was shot and died,” he said. “Her body was retrieved by the villagers and she was cremated. She was only seven, so she wasn’t even in school yet.”

It was not known at the time of reporting if there were junta casualties in the resistance forces’ drone attack. 

Some 40 Myanmar army soldiers also opened fire on another Seikphyu Township village, Yae Htwat, on December 28, killing a 42-year-old man and capturing a 15-year-old boy, who they held overnight and reportedly tortured. 

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