Myanmar junta tightens security in commercial capital Yangon

Security forces arrive after an attack on a pillbox in Yangon on Tuesday. / Khit Thit Media

By The Irrawaddy May 18, 2022

Myanmar’s military regime is tightening security measures in the country’s business hub, Yangon, amid rumors it is trying to root out urban resistance groups from the city, whose guerrilla attacks continue to claim casualties among the troops of the junta.

Residents report noticing erratic patrols in their neighborhoods since the start of this week.

“They traveled in convoy and posted themselves near crowded places. Then they searched every passer-by and even checked their phones,” said a resident living near the city center.

Another resident said similar activities took place in his neighborhood on Wednesday.

“The police and the military searched everyone, even in the taxis. I dare not bring my phone with me when I go out,” he said.

Yangon remains a hotbed of anti-regime resistance more than a year after the military takeover last year. Despite the regime’s previous attempts to crush the city’s underground cells, some are still active, staging anti-regime flash protests and surprise attacks on regime checkpoints in the city.

To protect themselves from attacks, the junta forces built pillboxes at busy intersections.

But they always turn out to be vulnerable. On Tuesday, a number of security personnel were injured when a resistance group launched an attack on one of the casemate bunkers at Thamine Junction in Mayangone township.

On the same day, the local administrator appointed by the regime in Alone Township was shot dead. Last month, the administrator was implicated in the arrest of a child and his mother, accused of supporting resistance groups.

In April, several flash mob protests were reported in the city. The Central Bank Deputy Governor was shot dead in her home but survived. In the same month, security forces at the regime ministers’ residential compound in Yangon were shot from a passing vehicle, killing at least one policeman.

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