In the last four months alone, around 1,500 troops have been killed in ambushes by civilian resistance fighters in Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin State
No fewer than 30 government troops have been killed in clashes between Myanmar’s military and People’s Defense Force (PDF) militias in embattled Sagaing region, according to Radio Free Asia.
The casualties took place on Monday amid reports of soldiers loyal to the junta attacking civilians and looting their possessions.
In the last four months alone, the equivalent of two infantry battalions of junta soldiers—around 1,500 troops—have been killed in ambushes by civilian resistance fighters in Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin State, reports The Irrawaddy.
The fighting broke out as reinforced junta soldiers launched a clearing operation in the townships of Pale, Yinmabin, Monywa, Mingin, Hteegyaing, and Chaung-Oo, according to PDF members and residents.
All six townships have seen frequent clashes since the military seized power from Myanmar’s democratically elected government in a February 1 coup.
At least 30 government troops, including a tactical commander, were killed Monday morning when a military convoy triggered landmines outside of Pale township, local PDF spokesman Boh Nagar told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
“We had been waiting for the convoy since [Sunday] as we heard a senior commander would be coming along,” he said.
He was in a small car in the middle of the 23 vehicles and we waited patiently to blow it up. He was fatally wounded in the head. Our area of Sagaing has the strongest resistance and fights the fiercest battles.”
Boh Nagar also claimed that his militia had ambushed a military convoy in Pale township twice on Tuesday morning but said the extent of the damage was unknown.
Additionally, PDF members told RFA that a grenade attack on the No. 2 Police Station in Monywa township left at least two officers dead on Monday, while militiamen shot and killed a soldier in a guard tower in Minging township’s Kyauk-khe-det village the same day.
Also on Monday, four militia fighters were killed in a shootout with local security forces near Hteegyaing township’s Laytha village, a member of the local PDF told RFA, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisal.
“The military came in huge numbers, hoping to find many PDF fighters in the villages,” the PDF member said, adding that the soldiers were troops from the junta’s 33rd Division.
“They mostly used heavy weapons most of the time and our young fighters bravely fought them back … [but] four people were killed in the incident.”
The PDF member said that a fifth person from the militia—a 50-year-old man named Tin Nyunt—was “killed after being arrested,” but did not provide further details.
He said soldiers had arrested at least 20 residents of Hteegyaing, including a doctor, from October 9-11, and claimed that around 100 government troops were stationed at the school in Laytha village as of Tuesday.
More than 1,000 civilians have been killed in the country since the February 1 coup, according to a local monitoring group.