Two People’s Defence Force (PDF) groups killed at least 10 junta soldiers on Wednesday during an attack on a military checkpoint in Yangon Region, the resistance fighters have said.
The 11am ambush near Kayan Township’s Zwe Ton village, about 40 miles east of Yangon, was carried out by battalion 1 of the Bago PDF as well as fighters from the Kayan PDF.
The resistance fighters’ gunfire overwhelmed the roughly 30 soldiers manning the checkpoint, said Mee Pwar, the Kayan PDF’s leader.
Some soldiers fled as the clash started while others stayed and returned fire. Resistance fighters told the remaining soldiers to surrender but they refused and the fighting continued, he added.
“We told them to surrender after we killed four or five of them and they refused to do so, forcing us to use more force,” he said. “We managed to kill at least 10 of them.”
A video published on social media showed resistance fighters firing on the checkpoint and yelling at junta soldiers to surrender.
“We attacked them using guerrilla warfare techniques,” he added. “We never intended to seize control of their station. Our plan has always been to just attack them and then retreat, as it would be difficult to maintain control after seizing bases. However, we might start seizing stations if the conditions favour us in the future.”
Junta reinforcements left Bago an hour after the battle started, and the PDF attackers left the area shortly after learning they were on their way.
The convoy came from the town of Thetkala, about 15km north of Kayan, but resistance fighters attacked it with explosives, the two PDFs said in a joint statement.
Several homes in Kayan Township were damaged when junta soldiers fired shots at villages as they advanced towards the site of the ambush, according to a Facebook page that reports news in the area called Kayan Channel.
Mee Pwar said that his group and other PDFs were unable to carry out as many attacks as they wanted to because of a shortage of ammunition.
“We need time to save up ammunition for the next battle because it’s hard to get even if we have money,” he said. “The revolution would be over quickly if only we had sufficient ammunition.”
The vast majority of township and village administrators in Kayan resigned in October after the PDF warned that anyone working for the junta must leave their post.