Yangon PDF members ‘lured into trap’ with promise of weapons then arrested 

Around ten People’s Defence Force (PDF) fighters were detained in Yangon this week after junta forces lured them into a trap by posing as sympathisers who wanted to give them weapons, a member of the resistance said.

An officer of the National Unity Government’s (NUG) Yangon Division Command told Myanmar Now the military council has stepped up its efforts to hunt down PDF fighters since Saturday.

“They have been extracting intel on the resistance groups from those who were arrested,” he said. He declined to give the exact number of those arrested or further details about them and their cases. 

Members of the PDF and other urban guerrilla groups should always contact officers from Yangon Division Command or other superiors to confirm details of potential operations, he added.

“All our comrades have to do is to focus on their jobs and directly follow the orders of their groups’ supervisors,” he said. “Please do take great caution and try to carry out the operations as discreetly as possible.” 

A police officer who works in Yangon confirmed to Myanmar Now that junta forces in disguise had been using the offer of weapons to lure PDF fighters into traps. 

“They’ve been using that strategy a lot,” said the officer. “They’ll tell them they will give them weapons and wait at the meeting spot to arrest them. They’ve been making contact through an alliance network online.” 

“The most common cases were when the PDF needed weapons for a mission and they identified their organisations and got arrested when they went to collect the weapons and gunpowder as promised,” the police officer added.

The Yangon Division Command officer warned it was possible that the military council was trying to turn resistance groups against each other by impersonating the leaders of certain groups.

After the NUG’s declaration of a war of resistance on September 7, the Yangon Division Command launched Operation Pyan Hlwar Aung, a series of attacks against junta targets in Bago, Ayeyarwady and Yangon regions. 

A PDF attack on the South Okkalapa Township police station on December 31 killed a police second lieutenant. Earlier that month the PDF killed several soldiers in attacks using bombs, grenade launchers and guns. 

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