Defence force in northern Shan State claims deadly ambush on junta convoy returning from battle 

A resistance force in the northern Shan State township of Muse carried out a lethal attack on a Myanmar army convoy returning from the frontlines of a clash with ethnic Kokang forces earlier this month, an officer from the resistance group said on Friday.

The targeted military unit, which included soldiers from Light Infantry Battalions 240 and 241, was heading towards its tactical base at Milestone 105 on May 4 when the People Security and Defence Army – Muse (PSDA-Muse) reportedly ambushed them on the highway connecting Lashio and Muse. 

They intercepted the five vehicles—which were reportedly made to appear as if they were civilian trucks—between the villages of Maw Tao and Talon, some two miles from the military base. 

According to a statement released by the PSDA-Muse, the soldiers in question had just engaged in a battle with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), an ethnic Kokang armed organisation. Further details about the clash were not known at the time of reporting. 

The PSDA-Muse posted photos to their Facebook page indicating that a military truck was destroyed in their attack. They claimed that 20 troops were killed and four injured. 

Myanmar Now was unable to independently verify the number of casualties. 

Assuming that the military would send reinforcement soldiers to its fight with the MNDAA, and the PSDA-Muse had reportedly been waiting along the highway to ambush those troops. When they were never sent, they shifted their plan and attacked the unit returning from battle, the group’s officer explained. 

“The clash with us lasted for around an hour and we chased them as they fled. They didn’t have any time to prepare as we ambushed them in a flash,” he told Myanmar Now.

He said that the PSDA-Muse also lost two members in the incident, noting, “one died during the battle and another one died while we were withdrawing.”

Zaw Gyi, 33, was reportedly killed while trying to retrieve weapons belonging to the fallen troops, and 22-year-old Mee Tauk, was killed as resistance forces retreated from the scene. 

The officer explained that through the use of guerrilla tactics, his group managed to inflict damage despite the difference in firepower with the junta unit. 

In the days since the clash along the highway, he said that the military had been launching multiple assaults on areas where they believed members of the resistance to be hiding, but did not reveal further information regarding the locations of these attacks.

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