Forty Myanmar Junta Troop Deaths Reported After Clashes with Rebel Army and Local Militia

FAW Jiefang CA-1122J military truck of Myanmar Army

FAW Jiefang CA-1122J military truck of Myanmar Army. Photo: TTL(Facebook). CC0 1.0.

A rebel army and a local militia have killed 40 Myanmar junta soldiers in two days of fighting this week in regions near the country’s northern and western borders, witnesses reported, in what would be the largest number of casualties inflicted on security forces since the Feb. 1 military coup.

The killing of 30 regime troops by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in the northernmost state of Kachin, and of 10 junta soldiers in the neighboring Sagaing region by a newly formed township militia were reported by villagers Friday and have not been confirmed by the rebels or the military regime.

The rise in casualties inflicted on the far better armed junta comes as the fledgling National Unity Government (NUG) tries to unify the numerous local “People’s Defense Forces” that have sprung up across Myanmar under a nationwide army to fight the State Administration Council (SAC), as the regime calls itself.

The NUG, a shadow government made up of members of leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government that was deposed by the military in February and ethic region leaders, was launched on April 16, and unveiled the “People’s Defense Force” (PDF) on May 5.

The shadow government intends to build the PDF into a Federal Union Army that combines militias formed by majority ethnic Bamars (Burmese) across central Myanmar with the country’s many ethnic armed organizations, such as the KIA, to fight the well-trained but widely loathed junta military forces.

The fighting in Kachin state, which borders China, Thursday and Friday flared up as junta forces staged major attacks to try to retake a military camp at Alawbwan that was captured by the KIA in April.

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Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Paul Eckert.

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