Freedom Memoirs – Day 292

Last night around 7pm, various gun shots were heard in at least four different locations of Mogok Town, Mandalay Region such as junta’s outpost in Ngayantinn area, Myoma Police Station, a detention center in South Kachin neighborhood and an electricity supply office. Paddamyar Myay People Defense Force (PDF) claimed responsibility for all the attacks and said many soldiers were severely injured. Two grenades were thrown near the soldiers deployed at the detention center while the rest of the places saw back and forth firings. In the case of electricity supply office, junta’s forces guarding the area carried out indiscriminate shootings while one of them with a sniper took out a young man watching from afar. The victim was 19-year-old Ko Htet Wai Yan, he was shot in the chest and passed away on the way to the hospital, according to Myanmar Now. The body was taken by the soldiers and not returned to the family for funeral.

Also in Mandalay Region, a security outpost in Chanmyatharzi Township was attacked with grenades last night by Dragon Rangers Mandalay (DRM), Mandalay-based urban guerrilla force. Some soldiers reportedly suffered injuries. DRM said that they had planned to carry out the offensive from all four directions of the outpost; however, instead chosen two grenades in order to avoid harming civilians who were out looking for donations left anonymously on the streets, which is the tradition of Tazaungdaing full moon day. Although the general mood of the Yangon residents has been low following the news of Phyo Zeya Thaw who was arrested yesterday, an explosion took place inside Road and Transportation Administration Department (RTAD) office in Thingangyun Township this afternoon. The incident was caused by a parcel bomb sent to the administrator office which injured three people; a witness told The Irrawaddy. Matkhayar Revolution Force has claimed responsibility of the attack.

Military convoy carrying junta appointed Sagaing Regional Minister Myat Kyaw was detonated with landmines by Kalaywa PDF on Kalaywa-Taze-Ye-U Road in Sagaing Region this morning. A total of 13 trucks were targeted and as junta’s soldiers responded by artillery shelling, PDF members had to retreat, Khit Thit Media reported. Some trucks were destroyed and no verified news on casualty list was released yet. On Gantgaw-Tilin Road of Magway Region, another military convoy that consisted of five vehicles and 200 soldiers was ambushed by Gantgaw’s YPDF early morning around 2.40am. Landmines and grenades were used in the attack which saw 25 deaths and severely injured over 20 on junta’s side. Local-based Yaw Eagle media reported that the convoy was using the different route so as to confuse PDF and still met with the guerrilla attack.

As junta’s forces struggle to make ways via in-land travel in Sagaing and Magwe regions, they have evidently utilized military choppers and jets to transport troops and conduct attacks on PDF. On November 17, a clash broke out between regime’s soldiers and a joint force of YDF-Tilin and Mindat-CDF in Tilin Township, Magway Region that resulted in 14 deaths from the people side and 10 from junta’s side. Moreover, battles have also intensified in Saw and Kyauthtu areas of Magway Region and military helicopters have been used in Saw area this morning, a YDF member told The Irrawaddy. Two Mi35p combat-transport choppers were recorded as they fired from the sky while the forces on ground have also accelerated the offensive in the name of “Anawrahtar Operation” that is set out by junta to clear all PDF in Chin State, Sagaing and Magway regions. 

Furthermore, combat helicopters were also used by regime soldiers in Sagaing’s Yinmarbin Township according to Mizzima News. Around 11am this morning, three choppers carried out airstrikes towards the villages in which members of PDF were rumored to be staying at.  A 13-year-old kid from Ywarthar Village was injured due to the indiscriminate shootings. Hundreds of regime troops on ground have also entered the area from three different directions and the joint force of Yinmarbin PDF, Sarlingyi PDF, Kani PDF and Pale PDF have been defending their territory. Despite the superior manpower and advantage of airstrikes, the number of casualties of regime soldiers has not decreased in Magwe Region. At least 20 soldiers were killed during the battle in Saw Township today, 5 casualties were reported during 3-hour-long clash in Kyauthtu Township on November 17 and 5 more died during detonation attack of junta’s vehicles in Gantgaw Township this morning around 9.30am.

Battle news have been reported in Karenni State as well. Around noon on November 18, regime soldiers clashed with the joint force of Karenni Army (KA) and Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) in Demoso Township following an ambush on their convoy consisted of 20 vehicles. During the battle, junta’s soldiers set civilians’ houses ablaze and killed two people for no reason, KNDF reported. More reinforcements have been deployed in Demoso Township as well as Fruso and Bawlakhe townships while over 300 troops have been approaching Pekhon Township, Shan State. Moebye Township, on border of Shan and Karenni State, is also bracing for imminent clashes as junta’s troops have readied themselves for battle since the morning and shelled an artillery in the afternoon. 

On diplomatic front, Sasakawa, the chairman of Nippon Foundation has said during a press conference that he has held a meeting with NLD’s high ranking members as he reportedly met with Daw Su Su Lwin, NLD’s elected parliament member as well as the wife of the former president U Htin Kyaw. However, NLD’s Central Working Committee (CWC)’s chair member U Aung Kyi Nyunt told VOA that only direct contacts with CWC can lead to formal discussions with the party. National Unity Government (NUG) has also urged the Interpol to reconsider its invitation of junta’s Lieutenant General Than Hlaing to the 89th General Assembly to be held during 23-25 November in Istanbul. Last but not the least, Min Aung Hlaing is set to be denied another chance for legitimacy as ASEAN countries refused to let him attend the China-ASEAN meeting on November 22 despite the China’s envoy’s plea. Reportedly, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei wanted Min Aung Hlaing to be banned from the meeting.

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