Major Junta Base Captured by KNLA Only 10 kms from Mae Sot Thai Border Stunning Victory after two battalions surrender including senior commander and arsenal of weapons seized

The spectacular collapse of the Junta forces in Myawaddy occurred on April 5th, after hundreds of troops guarding the vital border town of Myawaddy agreed to surrender, leaving the (KNLA)Karen National Liberation Army and allied forces in full control.

Joint resistance forces, led by the Karen National Liberation Army, successfully seized control of the Thingannyinaung military base under the Junta’s Southeast Regional Command, after the surrender of both the 356th and 357th Light Infantry Battalions stationed there. Colonel Tun Tun Latt the chief tactical operation commander led the surrender. The total number of surrenders exceeded 600, including Junta troops and their family members, frontline sources said.

This is a huge strategic gain for revolutionary movement. Most of Myanmar’s overland trade with Thailand passes through Myawaddy. The massive setback for the over-stretched junta army took place at the town of Thanganyinaung, about 10km (6.2 miles) west of Myawaddy and the Myanmar – Thai border.

It could also have major repercussions for the delivery of Thailand’s humanitarian aid using the Mae Sot border bridge crossing into Myanmar.

KNLA-led resistance forces reported that a total of 617 individuals surrendered, including 67 officers including Colonel Tun Tun Latt, 401 Junta soldiers, 59 female personnel, and 81 family members of the troops. KNLA also seized a substantial quantity of weapons and ammunition from the Junta troops.

A senior official from the Karen National Union (KNU), the political movement controlling their military wing -the KNLA, affirmed that all individuals who surrendered are currently being appropriately detained and treated in accordance with international laws governing prisoners of war (PoWs). Meanwhile there is a request from the regime for permission to land a plane in Tak province to repatriate them.

TPBS news (Thai Public Broadcasting Services) reported that the Myanmar government has requested permission from the Thai government for its aircraft to land at an airport in Tak province to pick up its senior military officers, who escaped from Myawaddy, which was seized by the opposition last night. The request for landing permission, tentatively scheduled from April 7 to 9, was made through the Thai Foreign Ministry.

Following KNLA’s capture of the base, the Junta launched intense airstrikes, employing tactics such as dropping 500-pound bombs on the surrounding areas, continuing until the evening of April 6.

Presently, rumors are circulating on social media suggesting that the 275th Infantry Battalion, garrisoned in Myawaddy, is also on the brink of surrendering to the KNLA. However frontline sources cautiously note that it is too early to confirm such reports.

“Unconfirmed reports are spreading, and officials are diligently working to verify them carefully. Airstrikes are ongoing, and telephone towers have also been damaged. We will make announcements once we can thoroughly confirm what is happening”, a KNLA officer told KIC.

Residents reported that some phone towers in Myawaddy were destroyed by the airstrikes, resulting in interruptions to phone services provided by operators such as MPT and Mytel. However, WiFi internet networks remained accessible during this time.

Overstretched by fighting in so many other parts of Myanmar, the military has also been unable to reinforce its positions in Karen State, and it lost control of the main roads to the border. The junta has responded to these losses by launching more air strikes on the areas under KNU control..

Leaders of the rebel forces will meet to discuss the administration of the township and the possibility of replacing the Myanmar flag with that of the KNU, which has been fighting the government for several decades.

Thai security forces along the border have been put on alert as a precaution against a possible influx of civilians from Myanmar.

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