Many locals trapped in Zayatkyi battle

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Caption-Some IDPs from Zayatkyi town in Htantabin. (Photo-CJ)

Locals from Zayatkyi and nearby villages are trapped in the fighting after the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and its allied People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) launched an offensive against the military council’s camps in Zayatkyi town in Htantabin Township in Taungoo District in Bago Region since the morning of 7 February, according to the preliminary news.

During the ongoing battle, the military council troops are carrying out heavy shelling and air strikes. Teachers and students fled to safer places as heavy shells landed near Htolwewah school. Many residents of Zayatkyi are also trapped inside the town, a person close to the residents said.

“The military council has dropped bombs in Shar Say Bo village twice. Teachers have to flee to the forests along with their students. The last time I contacted them, they said they would encounter the army if they fled to fields. They had nowhere to run. There are many people left trapped in ward in Zayatkyi,” he continued.

The KNLA and its allied forces are trying to capture the police station and military camps including the military council’s Light Infantry Battalion (LIB)-73 based in Zayatkyi town. As of the afternoon of 7 February, the LIB-73 has been captured and the fighting continues fiercely, according to the revolutionary forces.

“We have gained the upper hand in the fighting. The combined force has seized control of Battalion-73. The military council has conducted airstrikes for more than 20 times as it is a strategic camp for the military council,” the news sources said.

Till date, the military council continues to carry out bombardments using jet fighters. The details of the battle are still under investigation as the relevant revolutionary forces involved in the battle have not released official statements.

Htantabin Township is located in the Karen National Union’s (KNU) Brigade-2 controlled territory and in the active area of southern command of the National Unity Government (NUG).

In early February this year, the combined force of the KNLA and the PDFs captured and torched the military council’s Monglun camp in the Brigade-2 territory in Leiktho. The combined force also attacked Leiktho Myoma police station and battalion, according to regional news sources.

Sent by KIC.

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