Two PDF members killed in Sagaing Region

A deputy battalion commander and a fellow member of the Shwebo District People’s Defence Force (PDF) were killed near the town of Ye-U in Sagaing Region on Monday morning.

Zin Aung—the 35-year-old officer—and Thaukkya, another fighter in the PDF’s Battalion 9 whose age was not confirmed, were shot dead by junta forces while surveying the area’s terrain in preparation for combat. 

Battalion 9 of the Shwebo District PDF operates chiefly between the Mu and Ayeyarwady rivers, as well as in Ye-U, Depayin, Taze, and Budalin townships, and has engaged in numerous battles with the Myanmar army.

Regime soldiers shot Zin Aung and Thaukkya at around 11am near the village of Myin Pauk—5km west of Ye-U town—as they were travelling in the area. Resistance groups received information that a junta column was coming from Ye-U towards the area but did not think that they would arrive until later in the day.

“This happened while we were making preparations. The intelligence we got was not accurate,” added the Ye-U PDF leader.

The bodies—which were retrieved on the same day as the junta column retreated back towards Ye-U—both had bullet wounds to the head and chest.

Pro-junta social media pages and channels claimed the bodies of the two PDF members, as well as a gun and 15 bullets manufactured by the Kachin Independence Army, were seized by the military.

A member of an anti-junta defence team in neighbouring Depayin Township expressed deep sorrow for the loss of the two Battalion 9 members, saying he had fought alongside them in past battles. 

“Their group has great leadership skills and they’ve seized several junta bases. They’re a battalion that really does the work on the ground. The leaders are very skilled in combat in their own right,” he added.

Deputy battalion commander Zin Aung previously took an active role in the National Strategic Plan for Youth Policy as a Shwebo District representative during the administration of the National League for Democracy, according to a statement released by Sagaing Region Youth Network.

Last year, the publicly mandated National Unity Government’s defence ministry reorganised many existing local resistance groups and PDF battalions into structures under its command in districts across the country. Shwebo District covers six townships: Ye-U, Depayin, Shwebo, Khin-U, Taze and Wetlet. 

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