Resistance groups claim capture of 2 Myanmar cities


This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.

Myanmar’s Three Brotherhood Alliance claimed the capture of two cities, according to a statement released Monday. The resistance group announced they stormed two junta camps on Sunday, causing troops to withdraw.

The alliance reportedly captured Hseni in northeastern Shan state on Sunday morning. The junta camp there also acts as the army’s regional operational command headquarters, according to the alliance. Later that day, the allied forces moved to the city of Kutkai and seized it late at night, according to locals.

All junta troops from Hseni and Kutkai withdrew and fled to Lashio on Sunday afternoon, said one local who has been following military movements in the area.

The alliance comprises three resistance groups, including the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, Arakan Army, and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. Since the Three Brotherhood Alliance’s Operation 1027 began in late October, the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army’s fighters have claimed control of most major areas in Hseni. 

The junta’s regional headquarters and smaller camps are located several kilometers away from the city. The area has been under a blockade for almost two months. Troops retaliated during Sunday’s attack using heavy artillery and airstrikes, a local told Radio Free Asia, asking to go anonymous to protect their identity. 

The alliance attacked the camps in Kutkai multiple times earlier this month, they said, adding that junta troops responded with airstrikes on Sunday evening during the fighting.

One fighter involved in the ground battles told RFA Kutkai was entirely captured, despite the junta’s heavy defense. However, others said the status of Hseni could not be confirmed at this time. 

“It is true that our forces captured the whole of Kutkai city last night,” said a spokesman for the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, asking to remain nameless for fear of reprisals. “As for Hseni, I can’t confirm it, because we are not there.”

Myanmar’s regime has not released any information about battles in Hseni and Kutkai. RFA was unable to reach junta spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun for comment regarding junta injuries and fatalities.

On Thursday, the alliance also overtook a military command center in northern Myanmar, claiming control of the city of Laukkai according to a statement released Friday.  

Since the launch of Operation 1027 more than two months ago, the Three Brotherhood Alliance has reportedly captured 14 townships in northern Shan state and seized control of more than 200 junta camps.

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