MYANMAR – Revolutionary forces said that the military junta troops that were prepared to enter Karenni State from the Pao-Karenni border in southern Shan State retreated in late October to reinforce the fighting in northern Shan State.
More than 400 junta troops and junta-backed Pao militia forces have been preparing to launch a military operation from Mae Thin Village, bordering Pinlaung and Pekhon Townships, to the Mobye Region of Karenni State starting from the second week of October.
However, that military column left Pinlaung on October 28 to replenish the junta forces for the battles in northern Shan State, said an official of the Karenni Revolutionary Union.
“There were junta soldiers and PNO militia men. We heard about it recently, but we can no longer see them at the moment. They are missing and we haven’t heard anything. We heard that the junta troops from this side retreated to the north. We don’t know how many of them retreated. There were at least ten or fifteen vehicles,” he said.
Some eyewitnesses said that the junta battalions that retreated included the battalions under the No.12 regional operation command based in Northern Shan State, Division 33, and Division 55 based in Kalaw, as well as some PNO militants.
At present, due to the intense fighting in the northern part of Shan State, there have been few incidents of fighting in Karenni State.
Although the fighting has stopped, the artillery strikes by the junta council increased, and at least six civilians have been injured by the heavy weapons fired by the Loikaw artillery.
Although the junta council forces in Karenni have been reduced in strength, Mobye People’s Defence Force has informed that it is difficult to carry out operations due to the need for weapons and ammunition.