More defection news continued today. 36 soldiers from Magway Airforce have fled with weapons and already arrived at a safety place according to a local guerrilla force member. Use of flights has consistently been junta’s go-to resolution when it can’t match the opponents on ground. As such, ethnic armed organizations (EAO) and people defense forces (PDF) have targeted air bases with limited weaponry they have. And as it is one of the largest airbases in the country, Magwe Air Force have been attacked not once but twice. The second time took place as recent as August 8 and locals assumed that bomb attack wasn’t possible without inside help. Today’s defection news may have confirmed that theory. It’s estimated that at least 500 soldiers would consider leaving their posts if they receive help from National Unity Government (NUG).
Regardless of defected soldiers, junta is not short of murders to carry out its atrocities. On August 19, junta’s forces raided Taw Win Padauk hostel in Shwepyitha Township of Yangon, accusing there were pdf members. 19-year-old Ko Lin Lin Htun who tried to escape by jumping out the window was shot and killed on the spot. Another two also attempted a jump and they were taken to military hospital with wounds. Remaining two people from the hostel were taken to interrogation center and today we learn that both have passed away at the notorious inspection location. Family members were informed to collect the dead bodies and no cause of death was disclosed.
Two civilians from Mandalay also fell under a similar destiny. Last night around 8pm, Junta’s forces stormed into a village in Mattaya Township, killing two people on the spot and abducting three others including CDM policeman U Win Naing Soe. A village who escaped said, “We all had to run because soldiers came into the village and started shooting indiscriminately. They killed two people who came from elsewhere to hide out, not locals. There were not any pdf members in the village. Now junta has framed the detainees with ungrounded charges”. Regime’s soldiers also terrorized a village in Gantgaw Township of Magway region on August 18. They destroyed at least 20 houses and beat a 72-year-old man called U Kan Htaut to death in the process.
This afternoon, a PDF outpost in Myaung Township of Sagaing Region was surrounded by hundreds of junta’s forces. A PDF member told Myanmar Now “We simply can’t match them both in terms of number of soldiers and number of weapons. We are now trying to run to safety.” As they are cornered on all fronts, Myaung-based PDF have requested nearby forces to make moves so junta’s forces will be forced to ungroup. As of writing this, no further news on this has been received.
It has not been a day without junta’s losses too. A pro-military ward administrator in the town of Taungdwingyi called Zaw Latt was shot and killed this morning around 8am. The man who took bullets on the forehead and chest was known for actively organizing military support events. Electricity supply office in Yesagyo Township and Pa Khan Gyi police station were also attacked with bombs around noon today. Last night, Latha police station of Yangon too encountered explosive blasts and nearby residents claimed they heard gun fires afterwards.
Mizzima News reported that junta has instructed to suspend at least 40 KBZ pay accounts which have been making transactions in relation to NUG’s Spring (Nwayoo) Lottery. We don’t know if it’s even remotely ethical but we are certain KBZ will obey State Administrative Council (SAC) rather than its own customers hence we have no choice but to be more careful. On a related note, NUG’s raffle campaign has raised 3.6 million US Dollar today, just 1.4 short of the ultimate goal of 5 million. The campaign will be run until the end of the month and majority of the netizens are positive the goal will be achieved without much struggle. People have once again showed the unconditional support towards NUG. We hope and pray that those money raised will be directed towards those in need, in an effective and timely manner.