Soldiers target villagers after ambush by Myaing PDF 

Resistance fighters from the Myaing People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Magway Region said they attacked two military vehicles with handmade explosives in an early morning ambush on Thursday, injuring at least three junta soldiers. 

The fighters used three bombs during the attack, which took place at 4am just outside of a village called Mintharkya, about two miles from the town of Myaing, a PDF member told Myanmar Now. 

The soldiers from the vehicles then continued on to Mintharkya, where they ransacked houses and arrested six locals, he added. Then at noon the PDF attacked the soldiers again as they left the village on foot, sparking a shootout between the two sides, he said. 

“We exchanged shots but the battle has come to a rest now,” he said. “The soldiers are still stationed in Mintharkya village… We still haven’t got the exact number of casualties on their side. We are all safe, though.”

Another PDF member said that one of the soldiers injured in the 4am attack had to have his leg amputated. “They said he was in a critical condition,” he told Myanmar Now.  

Around 50 soldiers are stationed in Mintharkya. Two women from among the six people who were detained have reportedly been released, said the first PDF member, adding that the group had not had contact with them. 

Most of Mintharkya’s 1,000 residents have fled into nearby woods, but 17 elderly people who were unable to do so have stayed behind at the local monastery, a resident said. 

“Our entire village had to flee,” said the resident. “The military is taking out their anger on our village for getting ambushed with explosives. I heard that they were destroying whatever they saw in the village for allegedly finding a handmade rifle.” 

The villager added: “They took some villagers and placed them in the two place  where they are stationed. I think they’re using them as hostages.” 

The day before Thursday’s ambush, the Myaing PDF said it used seven handmade bombs to attack a column of 40 soldiers in the south of Myaing, near a village named Kaingtawma.

“The first car we attacked caught on fire,” said the second PDF member. “The entire front seat got burned. Three of the soldiers were in the front seat. Those in the back tried to shoot back at us. We didn’t shoot them back but focused on the explosives. They continued to shoot at us, though.”

In the wake of the attack, soldiers fired numerous shots at a civilian vehicle on the Pakokku-Myaing road, the PDF said. 

Photos of a white van riddled with bullet holes circulated on social media. 

Voice of Myanmar reported that the driver of the car died and that the vehicle was hit by resistance forces during the clash, a claim the PDF member denies. 

“The car arrived when the junta forces were firing shots randomly after we bombed them,” he said.

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