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Jet Fighters Attack Villages Along Sagaing and Kachin Border

Indaw-Namsi Aung

Regime airstrikes against armed groups resisting its rule have increased in Indaw, Banmauk, and Htigyaing townships, while the regime is carrying out its offensive in Sagaing Region on the border with Kachin State.

Last year, the junta has carried out only one airstrike on them, a People’s Defence Force (PDF) officer, who requested anonymity, told KNG. On 18 October, the Burma Army (BA) destroyed four houses in Inpin and Aung Kon in an air strike, he said, and in Nan Tha, three houses and a grocery shop were destroyed on 20 October. The officer said there were also civilian casualties, but the numbers couldn’t be confirmed at press time

From 4 to 11 October, fighting broke out in Banmauk Township between the PDF and the BA, in which the groups said six resistance fighters were killed and some regime soldiers died. The Banmauk Revolution group reported that BA jet fighters air bombed the hospital and medical’s residence in Kyaung Le village in the township at around 1pm on 21 October.

The junta seems to be following a new strategy of attacking first before sending ground troops, whereas it used to attack resistance groups after they suffered casualties, said another PDF soldier who also requested anonymity.

“They dropped bombs on Nan Tha village before about 50 soldiers from BA arrived in the village.”

During the recent attacks in Sagaing, the regime is also increasing its reliance on transport helicopters to bring troops, weapons and rations to the area. The aim is to drive out the rebel groups, which have claimed the lives of many junta soldiers since last year’s coup.

The Kachin Independence Army’s Brigade 8 and 9 also patrol the borders of Kachin State and Sagaing Region with the PDFs, and clashes with the regime are frequent.

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