Myanmar’s resistance groups have stepped up attacks near the capital Naypyitaw, directly threatening the military regime.
Resistance attacks have been reported within an hour’s drive of the regime’s nerve center.
On Sunday, a clash broke out on the border of Myothit Township in Magwe Region and Tatkon Township in Naypyitaw when groups attacked troops on motorbikes traveling to extort money from businesses, said the Oppressed People’s Revolutionary Force that conducted the attack.
Four junta soldiers were injured and three motorbikes, arms and ammunition were seized by the resistance group in the north of Naypyitaw.
Clashes broke out between junta forces and resistance groups on a mountain in Pyinmana Township, Naypyitaw, about 70km from the city center from August 10 to 14.
Clashes started after resistance groups from Pekon Township, southern Shan State and neighboring Thandaunggyi Township in Karen State, led by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the country’s oldest ethnic rebel group, the Karen National Union (KNU), attacked and seized a junta base on the mountain, according to the Northern Thanddaung Defense Force, which took part in the attack.
An estimated 50 regime troops and three resistance fighters were killed and the junta conducted airstrikes in response.
The attacks on regime bases and targets aim to penetrate Naypyitaw, the resistance groups say.
On July 7, a special commando unit from the Taungoo District People’s Defense Force under the command of the civilian National Unity Government (NUG), ambushed a military convoy of 10 vehicles reportedly carrying the junta’s quartermaster general, about 50km south of Naypyitaw on the Yangon-Mandalay Expressway.
Clashes were also reported in Yedashe Township, Bago Region, about 90km south of the capital.
After taking control of ground in Karen and Mon states and Tanintharyi Region, the KNU and NUG say they have been escalating joint operations in Bago Region, which is adjacent to Naypyitaw.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.
The KNU recently claimed the group is conducting more offensives to the west of the Sittaung River in Bago Region.
Brigadier General Saw Tamlar Thaw of the KNLA told the media on August 10 that the junta is increasingly focused on defense rather than attack amid growing armed resistance.
“The junta is unable to conduct offensives now. Instead, it conducts shelling and airstrikes on civilian targets,” he said.
Last Friday, a military logistics train overturned after an ambush in Phyu Township, Bago Region, while traveling from Naypyitaw to Yangon.
Resistance groups say they have been attacking military units assigned to provide rail security and junta troops fled after suffering losses in resistance drone strikes and a raid on Saturday, according to the White Peacock Column that conducted the attacks.