By THE IRRAWADDY 22 June 2021
A Mandalay civilian resistance group fighting against the military regime said two of its members were killed and six arrested by junta troops following a raid on one of the group’s bases on Tuesday morning.
Fighting broke out between the People’s Defense Force Mandalay (Mdy PDF) and the troops during the raid in the city’s Chanmyathazi Township.
On Tuesday afternoon, military-run Myawady TV said eight PDF fighters were killed and eight arrested during the shootout, while some junta troops were seriously injured.
However, the person in charge of the Mandalay PDF’s urban guerrilla warfare unit, who uses the pseudonym Bo Tun Tauk Naing, told The Irrawaddy that only two resistance fighters were killed.
“Among the six arrested are civil servants on strike and students. Some weapons were also seized,” he said.
Junta troops reportedly raided a boarding school where PDF fighters were based in Hton Tone ward at around 7.30 a.m.
“They sniffed us out. They came to our base at between 111st and 112nd streets on 54th Street and we shot at them as they came,” Bo Tun Tauk Naing said.
PDF fighters attempted to withdraw from the base as their colleagues from other parts of the town rushed to rescue them.
Junta forces used grenades in the fighting, the PDF said. Junta troops also used snipers and armored vehicles in the clash.
“Junta troops arrived around 7 a.m. and opened fire at 111st and 54th streets. It was not heavy shooting. Then there was an exchange of fire between 8 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. So far, junta troops have not yet raided houses. But they are detaining every man on sight,” a resident of Hton Tone Ward said in the morning while the clash was still going on.
He said he heard the sounds of machine guns and grenades. Locals stayed indoors during the shootout, he said.
Following the fighting, the US and Canadian embassies in Yangon on Tuesday called for a cessation of violence and for the protection of civilians, saying they were disturbed and concerned by the fighting in Mandalay.
The Mandalay PDF was formed by local resistance fighters who underwent military training provided by ethnic armed groups. They operate under the parallel National Unity Government.
The story was updated on Tuesday afternoon to reflect the latest situation.