6 June 2024

Rebel forces have captured seven army camps and a government command centre in Myawaddy province of Myanmar, after about four days of fierce fighting, according to rebel sources.

Myanmar jet fighters carried out bombing raids against the rebels of the Karen National Union (KNU) and People’s Defence Force (PDF), but failed to stop their advance, said the sources.

The rebels had seized a large cache of weapons, including howitzers, mortars, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, hundreds of assault rifles and ammunition left behind by the retreating government troops.

Rebel sources claim hundreds of Myanmar troops of the 275th battalion, from the main barracks in Myawaddy province, surrendered to the rebel forces yesterday, giving rebel forces full control of Myawaddy township, an important border town across the border from Mae Sot district of Thailand’s Tak province.

Leaders of the rebel forces will meet to discuss the administration of the township and the possibility of replacing the Myanmar flag with that of the KNU, which has been fighting the government for several decades.

Thai security forces along the border have been put on alert as a precaution against a possible influx of civilians from Myanmar.

Gunfire and the sound of shells exploding fell silent today, said the sources.

The PDF is the armed wing of the opposition National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar. It was formed by the NUG from youths and pro-democracy activists in May 2021, in response to the coup d’état by the military junta and their armed wing, the Tatmadaw.