Two attacks on regime forces in Tamu leave 15 soldiers dead

A civilian defence force based in Sagaing Region’s Tamu Township has claimed that it killed at least 15 soldiers in two separate clashes on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

The Tamu People’s Defence Force (TPDF), formerly known as the Tamu Security Group, said the clashes took place in the villages of Panthar and Kuntaung.

A shootout in Panthar on Tuesday night left five soldiers and one resistance fighter dead, the group said.

The second clash occurred before dawn on Wednesday, when the civilian force launched an attack on an outpost in Kuntaung at around 4am, killing at least 10 regime troops in half an hour.

According to a TPDF member who spoke on condition of anonymity, four ethnic Meitei people, known as Kathe in Burmese, from India’s Manipur State were also killed while fighting alongside the Tamu resistance fighters.

There are a number of Meitei armed groups based in areas along Myanmar’s border with India, where Tamu Township is located. 

All of the inhabitants of both villages, except for those directly involved in the clashes, have fled, sources told Myanmar Now. 

While the exact number of displaced was not known, Panthar has roughly 400 households and Kuntaung around half as many.

As of 2pm on Wednesday, there were no reports of further fighting between the TPDF and regime forces stationed in the villages of Panthar, Kuntaung, Myothit, and Minthar.

The Tamu Security Group was formed in late March by local residents who took up traditional hunting rifles to defend unarmed civilians from attacks by the new military regime. 

It later changed its name to the TPDF when the National Unity Government, consisting mainly of lawmakers from the civilian government ousted by the February 1 coup, announced the formation of a nationwide People’s Defence Force.

According to members of the group, it has begun to use more advanced weaponry, such as AK-47 and M16 assault rifles, in addition to hunting rifles.

In early April, a group of locals in Tamu led by a police officer who had defected from the regime ambushed a police outpost with a grenade, killing five policemen. 

A week later, local resistance forces carried out another ambush that killed three soldiers.

The TPDF’s members include a number of defectors, some of whom have been killed in clashes with the regime’s forces.  


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