Home News Myanmar’s junta retakes town, major gain for rebels

Myanmar’s junta retakes town, major gain for rebels


Myanmar’s military junta has retaken the town of Myawaddy, a key trading center on the border with Thailand, reversing a key victory after resistance soldiers were forced to withdraw after seizing the town nearly two weeks ago, a spokesman for the Karen National Union said. Wednesday.

The capture of Myawaddy by junta forces follows the defection of a well-armed local militia known as the Border Guards, which briefly defected to join Karen rebels and pro-democracy alliance forces. Capture the town on April 11.

Karen National Union spokesman Padoh Saw Taw Nee said militiamen helped free trapped regime soldiers on Tuesday and retake their battalion base on the edge of town after rejoining the junta, There they hoisted the Myanmar flag. political leadership bodies.

“Given this critical situation, and in order to avoid falling into the enemy’s trap, we must temporarily withdraw the Karen National Liberation Army’s joint forces from Myawaddy,” Mr. Suthawney said in an interview.

The resistance’s capture of the town is the most significant victory yet for the rebels, a broad coalition of armed ethnic groups and pro-democracy fighters who have been fighting to overthrow the top generals who seized power. Coup 2021.

In recent months, The resistance has captured Dozens of towns and military posts in Myanmar’s border areas.

But Myawaddy, across the Moi River from the Thai town of Mae Sot, is a particularly important prize because it is an import and export hub, with trade worth $1 billion last year.

The regime attempted to retake Myawaddy by sending a convoy of reinforcements from a military base less than three hours away.

But faced with frequent guerrilla ambushes and attacks along the highway, the convoy still had not reached Myawaddy 12 days later, Mr. Sudoni said.

He said rebels withdrawing from Myawaddy would join the fight against junta forces along the highway.

The regime’s spokesman, Gen. Zaw Min Tun, did not respond to multiple calls from The New York Times.

As the resistance took control of Myawaddy, the army bombed civilian targets in the town, including roads and a bus station, killing at least seven people and wounding 30 others, said ambulance captain Ko Zack.

For decades, ethnic armed groups have fought for autonomy in their regions. But since the coup, a number of groups have joined forces to aim at overthrowing the military junta and replacing its leadership with a federal democracy.

“Our mission extends beyond Myawaddy,” Mr. Saw Taw Nee said. “Our goal is not just regime change to replace the country’s current rulers. Our goal is systemic change and the transformation of all corrupt systems in the country.”

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