SHAN STATE – Locals reported on Friday (May 5) that a large number of the junta and junta-affiliated Pa’O National Organization (PNO) Army are currently deployed at the Pagoda in Salone (North) Village, in Pinlaung Region, at the border of Shan-Karenni States.
The massacre at Namnein Village’s Monestry reflected how junta soldiers were deployed and stationed at public places including religious buildings, stated a defence force member.
“They were deployed at pagodas and monasteries. It was quite a large troop. We can’t give an exact estimate, but there may be around 150 as it is a column of soldiers. The exact number of junta forces could not be confirmed amidst the ongoing clashes,” said the PDF member.
“Thousands of troops (junta forces and PNO forces) have been intercepting the Pinlaung and Pekhon regions with different columns. The main column has about 400 soldiers and the sub-columns have about 150 soldiers each. The junta troops would deploy a sub-unit at a township (around 80 soldiers) and if they had a clash with the resistance forces in the area, they would send reinforcements. The junta forces would advance to an area or fall back depending on their troops and supply conditions,” said a local who is close to the People’s Defence Force members.
Due to the recent junta’s military operations, clashes are going on along the Shan-Karenni Border as well as Demoso Township in Karenni State. According to Karenni Nationalities Defense Force’s (KNDF) announcement on May 3, at least fifty clashes reportedly occurred in Karenni State in April.