Asian Entreè

Myanmar: KNLA claims to have killed 118 junta soldiers in August

After the resistance against Myanmar’s junta that took over the government last February 1 has been taken over by the armed rebel groups, the Brigade 5 of Karen National Liberation Army’s (KNLA) l, a militia from the southeast Asian country’s Kayin state, claimed to have killed at least 118 junta soldiers during clashes in August, almost double the number it killed in July.

According to a statement from the group, there were a total of 133 clashes between the brigade and the Myanmar military in Kayin State’s Hpapun last month during which another 68 junta soldiers were injured.

Just five KNLA soldiers were injured in the clashes, the group said, though it did not give details of fatalities on its side. In July, Brigade 5 killed 65 junta soldiers in Hpapun and injured 101, including a battalion commander.

The number of clashes in July – 130 – was almost the same as in August despite the large difference in the number of fatalities on the Junta side as the Brigade 5, being aware of the terrain and through guerrilla warfare, had an upper hand there.

Territory controlled by Brigade 5 has seen the most intense fighting out of all the places where the Karen National Union (KNU), the KNLA’s political wing, is active. The junta has launched attacks in every KNU territory except for land controlled by Brigade 4.

Brigade 5 said in Tuesday’s statement that junta forces in its territory have shelled rice paddy fields 120 times, burned down six houses and beat three civilians, killing one. The junta has also sent aircraft to survey the region five times, it said.

Villages within Hpapun, which is also known as Mutraw was bombed by the junta in March.

The KNLA, mentioned last week that the areas under Brigade 5 may expect more airstrikes soon.

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