Guerrillas bomb a road checkpoint in the capital of the junta

A village in Wetlet township, Sagaing region, has been under siege since local resistance forces attacked a police station on Sunday, residents say.

Shein Ma Kar, located on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady River about 20 km southeast of Wetlet town, has been completely cordoned off since Sunday’s attack by the Shwebo People’s Defense Forces (PDF), said a resident of another village in the region told Myanmar. Now Monday.

“The army has taken control of Shein Ma Kar and is not letting anyone out or into the village. We can hear gunshots every hour,” said a man from Thit Seint Gyi, a village about 15 km north of Shein Ma Kar.

PDF Shwebo launched the attack on the village police station around 2 p.m. Sunday, according to one of the group’s battalion commanders.

About three hours later, military helicopters arrived, forcing the group to retreat, said the commander, who is also a resident of Shein Ma Kar.

Four junta soldiers, including a captain, were killed in the initial attack, while three resistance fighters were injured in the ensuing battle, he added.

According to local sources, the attack came after around 30 soldiers stationed at Shein Ma Kar police station burned down 46 houses in the area earlier in the day.

On Monday morning, there were reports that junta columns appeared to be heading towards Shein Ma Kar from both east and west.

A column of around 70 troops had arrived in Mway Ta Laing, a village in neighboring Madaya Township, that morning, while another of around 100 troops arrived in Wetlet town around the same time, local sources said.

Thousands of people from Shein Ma Kar and other villages in the area, including Ywar Thit, Nga Reh and Tut, reportedly sought refuge on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, while others prepared to flee.

“We are very worried because the road to Shein Ma Kar from Wetlet is close to our village. We are preparing to go underground now,” said the villager of Thit Seint Gyi, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile, the commander of another Shwebo PDF battalion said the group was struggling to continue its efforts to resist regime forces due to a lack of weapons.

“We only have one gun for three members. The rest of us have to use handmade shotguns and gunpowder. It’s really hard to keep fighting,” he said.

He added that the group had hoped to receive more weapons from the National Unity Shadow Government (NUG), which leads the resistance movement.

“I don’t care if we starve, but we need more weapons. We want to protect civilians with our lives. So we would like to ask the NUG to at least provide us with firearms,” he said.

The latest fighting comes days after Battalion Commander Shwebo PDF 23 was killed in an ambush near Chaung Mee To village in eastern Wetlet township along with two other members of his unit, the group said. in a statement released on Saturday.

Sixty-year-old battalion commander Thanmani died while leading troops under his command in a battle in support of an allied group, Special Task Force GZ, whose base had come under attack.

“We underestimated the enemy and fell directly on him,” said a member of the Shwebo PDF.

An elderly resident of Chaung Mee To who was unable to flee when regime forces attacked the village was also killed, according to local sources.

Residents said there were only about 20 houses left in the village of 150 households after the raid.

“There is nothing left to return. The PDF groups raised funds to buy us food. They didn’t have much to give, but we know they did their best,” said a local resident.