Civilians, soldiers and guerrillas killed in Mandalay as resistance groups step up attacks

Several soldiers, resistance fighters and civilians were killed in Mandalay this week during two days of shootings and explosions, as anti-coup guerillas stepped up attacks against the junta in the city. Three civilians, two resistance fighters and five junta soldiers died amid the violence on Monday and Tuesday while several others were severely injured, local residents and resistance fighters said. In one incident on Monday morning, members of two groups named the Mandalay Black King Scorpion PDF and the Guerrilla Force of Mandalay threw a grenade at soldiers who were standing guard in front of the University of Nursing on 62nd street. One soldier was killed, and others responded by opening fire, killing a man who was passing through the area. The resistance fighters escaped. “The victim was just a civilian,” said a local, requesting anonymity. “We don’t exactly know who he is yet but I heard he was from this ward. He was just walking by when he was shot.” The guerrilla fighters issued a statement the next day apologising for the civilian’s death. On the same morning as the grenade attack, the two groups teamed up with a third group called the Mandalay Ranger Force to shoot junta personnel carrying out security checks at the junction between 62nd street and Thatepan road, injuring four. Corporal Soe Min Aung from Traffic Police Force No. 89 was shot in his right arm, Sergeant Hein Htut Tun from the Chanmyathazi Fire Station was hit in his right hip and his neck, while two other junta personnel were injured in the hip and head, local media reported. At 3pm on the same day, the Mandalay People's Defence Force (PDF) and a group called Dragon Warriors (MDY-UG) attacked junta forces stationed inside a Women’s Affairs office on 101st street, killing four soldiers, according to Nat Khat, the leader of the Mandalay PDF. On Tuesday evening, soldiers shot two people–a brother and sister–who were riding a motorcycle near the corner of 80th and 12th streets on the southern side of the Mandalay Moat. Locals said the soldiers opened fire because the pair did not stop for a security check. Nu Nu Win, age 26, was shot in her neck and died on the spot, while Aung Phyo Kyaw, 25, was shot in the sternum and was in a critical condition at the time of reporting. “We heard gunshots last night but we just thought the junta forces were just shooting around like the usual chaotic animals that they are, until we heard the news this morning,” said a local woman. On Monday at around 6pm, two resistance fighters from the Mandalay Ranger Force died while riding a motorcycle at Thatepan road and 78th street after a bomb they were carrying accidentally exploded. A local woman told Myanmar Now that the military deployed guards around the mens’ remains and refused to allow social welfare groups to retrieve the bodies until the following day. “They didn’t let them take the bodies and said those were the orders from above,” she said. “The social welfare people asked them repeatedly to let them retrieve the bodies but they were denied. They’re so cruel that they aren’t even letting people die with dignity anymore.” “I personally saw the dismembered limbs scattered all over the road,” said another witness. A body of a guerrilla fighter is seen near a motorcycle after accidental explosion on Tuesday night (CJ) The following morning, another explosion was reported near the location of the mens’ remains, and junta soldiers responded by firing guns in the area, locals said. The mens’ remains were finally collected by a welfare group at around 1pm on Tuesday. There was another explosion on Tuesday at 7pm on the northern side of the moat, and yet another an hour later at the staff residence of the local City Development Committee, near the corner of 36th and 69th streets. Another Mandalay resident said people in the city were braced for even more violence. “The attacks are only going to get more severe,” he said. “We the people need to donate more to the PDFs. And we need to stay away from the junta’s forces and their buildings.”