Resistance bases raided near the Indian border

In recent months, the military has intensified its efforts to prevent anti-junta groups from fortifying their positions along the strategically significant Kalay-Tamu road.

Sep 19, 2023 - 22:57
Resistance bases raided near the Indian border

Last week, junta forces overran two resistance camps near the northern Sagaing Region town of Tamu, aiming to hinder anti-regime groups from consolidating their presence along the India border.

The first attack occurred on September 11 and targeted a People’s Security Team (PST) base situated near the village of Nanmuntar, just outside of Tamu.

“The PST camp had a weaker manpower, and the junta army employed heavy artillery, forcing the PST members to retreat,” stated Thang Say, a senior member of the local People’s Administration Team. “The troops who overran the camp would have discovered the detention cells there,” he added.

The PST operates as a law-enforcement agency in areas under the control of the shadow National Unity Government (NUG).

On September 16, another raid was launched on a base operated by Battalion 4 of the Tamu District People’s Defence Force (PDF), which is also under NUG command.

“The junta army arrived in four columns with superior manpower, enabling them to attack and set fire to our camp. However, we did not lose any of our members or any weapons,” said the battalion’s information officer.

Nevertheless, several PDF fighters were injured while resisting the attack, which was carried out using artillery and drones.

Since early September, the military has been conducting offensive operations along the Kale-Tamu highway. The highway is strategically vital because Tamu is a major trading hub on the border with India.

“Regarding border trade and everything else, if the revolutionary forces continue to dominate these villages along this road, the junta’s administration will be significantly affected,” explained Thang Say. “This is why they’re deploying a considerable number of troops from Kalay to launch an offensive in the area with their allies.”

According to the Tamu District PDF Battalion 4 information officer, PDF troops attacked a joint force of junta soldiers and members of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia near Kalay on Monday.

The regime forces were reportedly extorting money from motorists while inspecting vehicles leaving Kalay, the information officer said.

No further details about the incident were available at the time of reporting.

Tamu Township hosts at least three district battalions of the PDF. Additionally, several other anti-regime groups, including the All Burma Students’ Democratic Front, Freedom Ranger Tamu, Fighter Police CDM Tamu, Burmese Students Organization, and the Tamu Township People’s Defence Team, operate in the area.

All these groups were targeted by regime forces in a series of raids carried out in November of the previous year, leading to the flight of hundreds of their members across the border into India.

In March, the military conducted a two-day assault on a Tamu District PDF Battalion 1 camp near the village of Kun Taung, resulting in the deaths of three of its members in a series of airstrikes.

In addition to the Pyu Saw Htee, the military is believed to be receiving support from the Shanni Nationalities Army (SNA), an ethnic armed group that frequently clashes with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State and parts of northern Sagaing Region, including Tamu Township.

When contacted by Myanmar Now, SNA spokesperson Colonel Sai Say confirmed that the group had been active recently near the villages of Mintha and Thanan in northern Tamu Township. However, he also denied that the SNA was cooperating with the military’s operations in the area.

“We have activities in Mintha and Thanan, but we are separate,” he said, referring to the SNA and the junta army.

In the months following the February 2021 coup, the SNA initially offered support to youths who had joined the armed resistance movement against the newly installed regime. However, it later appeared to switch sides, although the group has consistently denied this charge.

Last month, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which has strongly supported the anti-regime resistance movement, captured an SNA camp in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township, along with two junta outposts.

Major clashes between regime and resistance forces were also reported near the town of Khampat in southern Tamu Township in July.

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