Freedom Memoirs – Day 280

Yangon saw at least five shootings occur on the outskirts of the city in South Dagon, Mayangone and Mingalardon townships today. The first incident took place around 11am this morning when a shootout between the local People’s Defense Forces and the regime forces ensued after the PDFs’ attempt to take out a famous military informant in South Dagon failed. The second happened at Mayangone Township’s Ward Administration office near Thamine flyover bridge. The other three incidents occurred in Mingaladon Township where a security outpost near the regime’s air force base, the General Administration Office and Battalion No.9 base had been opened fire by an unidentified resistance group today’s afternoon. All incidents resulted in the death of at least six soldiers and critically injuring another three.
 
The shooting in South Dagon Township happened around Ward 19, 20 and 25 this morning when the PDFs tried to take out the infamous military informant named Nagalay who escaped the assassination but got shot in his stomach. In the aftermath, he reportedly informed the regime forces of the attempt by the local PDFs and a shootout erupted in the neighborhood where all of the entrances to the township were heavily guarded and blocked. The first ever shootout in Yangon’s South Dagon Township reportedly injured two soldiers from the regime’s side and three members of the PDF, a resident told the Ayeyarwady Times. Nagalay is a well-known military supporter and informant in the township who was jailed related to the assassination of U Ko Ni—a prominent lawyer who was an adviser to the National League for Democracy party—at the Yangon International Airport in 2017.
 
Around 1pm today, the No. 1 ward administration office in Mayangone Township was opened fire by another unidentified group, killing three staff at the office according to Khit Thit Media’s report. Residents said at least four people, including one member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party member, got shot during the incident as they saw four ambulances showing up in the aftermath. Regime forces were reported to have beaten up two youths nearby who had nothing to do with the incident and arrested them, residents said.
 
On the other side of Yangon in Mingaladon Township, an unidentified resistance group opened fire at the General Administration Office around noon when the office was celebrating its 33rd anniversary ceremony. The incident killed one soldier and one cleaner woman, and injured another soldier, Mizzima News reported. Just 30 minutes after this, the second shooting happened at the Battalion No.9 base in Kone Tala Paung Sanpya village in another part of Mingaladon Township—no casualties or injuries were confirmed. The commander of the battalion base reportedly challenged the resistance groups back in October when the village administrator of Kone Tala Paung Sanpya was shot to death by saying “If you’re not happy with the military, come and face the military forces directly like a man. Taking out the civilians is not a man’s act.”
 
After these two shootings, the regime forces tightened security within the township and in the midst of heightened scrutiny, a security outpost of the Mingaladon Air Force base was attacked around 3pm. A resident told Mizzima News that while the regime forces were focusing on checking every car on the No. 3 road, a security outpost of the air force base was attacked, killing two soldiers and injuring two more. A video of the shooting obtained by Mizzima News showed that the security outpost was shot at from a moving car and an underground guerilla resistance group, Fight for Freedom (FFF) claimed responsibility for the attack. “This is a retaliation for the brutal oppression that the people have to endure,” FFF told the news outlet.
 
We know there is a major debate on the whole “tit-for-tat” violence occurring currently, but this is a gray area that we will have to process through, especially when we are still bombarded with the regime forces’ ongoing clearance operation in many parts of Myanmar. This evening, the regime forces were reported to have retaliated to the on-ground clashes with the local PDFs by firing artillery from two military helicopters in Sagaing Region’s Kawlin Township, causing residents of Naung Pyinla village to flee for their lives. Local PDF, Kawlin Revolution told Khit Thit Media that the clashes with the military troops occurred near Nyaung Pinla village and between Shan Kalone and Out Kalone village today, and around 4:30pm, the regime fired against them from two military helicopters for about 45 minutes.
 
“We are all running and evacuating so we can’t confirm the details but what we can say is that they are using air forces to retaliate, and they are also shooting at the civilians’ area,” a spokesperson from Kawlin Revolution said. A video recording of two military helicopters flying above the western part of Kawlin Township around 5pm was also shared by Khit Thit Media.
 
In Kachin State’s Moyin Township, an open fire at Htoo Htike San tea shop in Hopin by a group of gunmen in a car this morning killed six people, including two children and a monk and wounded at least 14 others. Around 8am this morning, a group of five gunmen in masks showed up at the tea shop and started firing against the patrons using AK-47 rifles in the shop, a Hopin resident told Myanmar Now. The shooting reportedly killed seven-year-old and 14-year-old girls, a monk and three others on the spot, and wounded 13 patrons and one staff of the tea shop. Many Hopin residents believed that this incident was retaliation from the members of the regime’s Pyu Saw Htee militia for the killing of Pyu Saw Htee member, Ko Tun Tun Win, 48 on October 29. Kachin Region People Defense Force (KPDF)-Hopin also released a statement right after, confirming this incident was not carried out by them but by Pyu Saw Htee members.
 
This last news confirmed that the “tit-for-tat” violence is committed on both sides, and the resistance groups shouldn’t get so much heat for doing whatever they can to protect and retaliate for many people who aren’t in position to protect themselves. Khit Thit Media reported last night that a total of 16 clashes occurred in several regions across Myanmar such as Sagaing, Mandalay, Magway and Tanintharyi regions, and Chin, Karen (Kayin) and Mon states. The clashes killed 133 regime soldiers and five members of the PDFs. Civil war is upon us, we are all doing everything that we could for our safety and freedom. If we can’t take up arms to face the regime straight on, we should tone down our criticisms against those who are risking their entire lives for this revolution.

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