The PDFs have confiscated forty-two grenades at Bant Bwe Village where junta forces have been stationed for five days, according to PDF officials.
The bombs were 2017 model 40 mm grenades made by the junta forces, MG3 and 40mm MG4 tank grenades. Their total value is over forty lakhs, according to a source from the CDM soldiers community.
40mm grenades are usually fired to scatter enemy positions, and the tank grenade is used to destroy enemy barriers. The bombs are designed to explode when they reach a distance of 200 meters.
From the 19th to 24th of December, junta forces were stationed at Bant Bwe Village of Yinmarpin Township. Conflicts also occurred with local PDFs, and the grenades were confiscated when the junta forces withdrew.
“About 100 troops of the junta forces and Pyu Saw Htee members who were pretending to be local PDFs, were stationed at Bant Bwe Village. Conflicts frequently occurred with us for six days in a row,” said Byatta, a member of the Byatta Brothers Force.
The battles were fought by PDF alliances, including the Democratic Guerilla Force, Cobra Guerilla Force, Byatta Brothers Guerilla Force, and the People’s Defense Forces from Yinmarpin and Kani.
The PDFs carried out surprise attacks, used heavy artillery on their bases and checkpoints, attacked and destroyed equipment from time to time in an attempt to drive out the junta forces, according to a statement released by the Byatta Brothers Force.
Those battles usually lasted for about half an hour each, with few casualties on both sides. However, one member of the local PDF was injured in the leg.
On December 24th, during a clearing operation after the battles, 42 grenades were found in a house in Bant Bwe Village. These bombs and ammunition are used in 40mm grenade launchers and M79 weapons, military-grade weapons, and were supposed to be used under the command of the deputy commanders of the junta forces.
“When they are tired from battle, they can’t carry all the ammunition and so they reduce the weight. For example, they used only one in the battle but reported firing ten. Sometimes, the soldier carrying the grenades deliberately leaves in protest to his supervising officer, putting both of them in trouble. Another possibility is that they left them because they are planning to return to the village again”, said Capt. Zin Yaw, a CDM officer of the junta forces.
Capt. Zin Yaw said that if senior officials became aware of the loss, the officer in charge would have to reimburse the cost of the weapons.
The cost of each bomb is said to be around 10,000 kyats in the junta forces.
At a time when fighting is raging across the country to overthrow the junta, the value could be about ten times the original price.
In Sagaing Region, where the fighting is very intense, local PDF leaders believe that the junta troops are now experiencing combat fatigue.
The junta troops pretending to be local PDF together with Pyu Saw Htee groups, entered the village during a raid.
“At the beginning, they used to march about 30 troops in military uniform to clear the area. Now they deploy and invade the villages with about 100 troops. And they often dress like locals” said Byatta.
“On our side, the family is proud of the soldier who dies in battle. They’re not afraid, his father, brothers, and sisters have also become members of the Revolutionary Army” said a member of Byatta.
The junta is doing everything to discredit the PDFs that are united with the people and to prevent the locals from accepting them.
In doing so, they cut off telephone and internet lines to keep information out of the public. Propaganda pamphlets were being distributed from helicopters, and satellites were being restricted to prevent broadcasts from the news media.
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“That is their old way. They are trying to disband the PDFs and make the civilians not to accept us. But civilians are not dumb anymore. No one believed or accepted what they said. Their propaganda will be like pouring water on the sand,” the Byatta said.
He added that they are not only facing the failure of the propaganda, but also former junta supporters have joined the PDFs. A few days ago, U Mya, a USDP township organizer, from Kany Township adjacent to Yin Mar Pin, joined the local PDF.