Guerrilla claims to fend off junta’s advances on border town

A resistance group fighting the country’s military rule said its fighters had repelled an attempt by junta troops to advance on the key town of Myawaddy along the Thai border that was seized by the rebels last week.

Reinforcements of junta forces have been trying to advance on Myawaddy for days, but were pushed back in a battle about 40km away, a spokesperson for the Karen National Union (KNU), Saw Taw Nee, said in an interview.“It is not easy to come here.

They face a lot of difficulty,” he said, saying the KNU’s forces had been “blocking and intercepting” the junta troops.

The KNU information could not be independently confirmed. A spokesperson for the military junta that seized power from an elected government in 2021 did not answer calls from Reuters.

The border town of Myawaddy, adjacent to Thailand, was wrested from military control by a coalition of anti-junta forces led by the KNU on Thursday.

Fighting took place last Friday between the villages of Kawkareik and Kaw Nwet along the main Asian Highway 1 leading west from the Thai border, Saw Taw Nee said.

The KNU spokesperson said information received from the front line put the junta’s toll of deaths and injuries from the fighting at around 100.

“We know that they suffered a loss of one armed carrier and a military truck,” he said.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since 2021, when the powerful military deposed an elected civilian government, triggering widespread protests it sought to crush with force.

Simmering anger against the junta turned into a nationwide armed resistance movement that is now increasingly operating in coordination with established ethnic rebel groups to challenge the military across large parts of Myanmar.

Saw Taw Nee said the resistance “will take time”.

“We need to have a kind of coordination with other groups to defeat the military.” — Reuters

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