Fifteen military personnel, including a senior officer, were reportedly killed when combined forces of the Karenni resistance group attacked a village in Demoso township of Kayah state on Monday.
On Monday evening, fighters from the Karenni Revolution Union (KRU) and the Demoso People’s Defense Force (PDF) attacked 70 junta soldiers from the 66 Division stationed at a school and monastery in Konether village outside Demoso town, Irrawaddy reported.
A KRU spokesman told the Irrawaddy on Wednesday that resistance fighters attacked junta troops at close range. 15 soldiers including a colonel were killed. Resistance fighters have heard junta soldiers say something like ‘their senior officer has been killed’ and retreat from the conflict.
Citing military sources, some media reported on Wednesday that the commander of Light Infantry Battalion 6 under the 66 Division, Lt. Col. Ong Ko Oo, was killed in the gunfight.
However, the KRU said its forces could not confirm the rank of the dead officer.
After the clashes, the military targeted the area with heavy weapons and prevented resistance fighters from retrieving weapons abandoned by junta soldiers. A KRU fighter, Khun Soe Ping Thu, died of injuries in the clash on Tuesday morning.
After the war, the junta soldiers left the village of Konetha. Residents of the village fled months ago after the military government initially deployed troops here.
After the conflict, the KRU called on the parallel National Unity Government and the Myanmar people at home and abroad to provide ammunition, saying, ‘We can support ourselves, but we cannot fight without ammunition.’
On Tuesday, seven military regime soldiers were reportedly killed in Loikao township of Kayah when snipers from the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force and the Central Region Special Operations Force (CRSOF) attacked junta forces stationed on a hilltop in the township.
CRSOF said government troops responded to the attack with machine gun and mortar fire, but the resistance fighters fled the area. Myanmar’s junta forces are suffering daily casualties across the country from attacks by the PDF and ethnic armed groups.