Bomb explosion at the Tax Office in the center of Yangon; Battles in Hsenwi and Sagaing

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – June 05 Scenes

MoeMaKa, June 06, 2023

Bomb explosion at the Tax Office in the center of Yangon; Battles in Hsenwi and Sagaing

This afternoon, a bomb exploded on the 3rd floor of the Tax Service Unit of the Internal Revenue Department at the corner of Pansodan Road and Merchant Road in the center of Yangon, injuring about 6 people. The news media reported that the attack was carried out by a Yangon guerilla force called the Brave Eagles. Among 6 injured people, two were those who came to pay the tax, and the remaining 4 are employees of the Tax Office, as reported in the news.

Except for the recent shooting incident at the police station in Dagon Seikkan Township, explosions often occur in crowded places in Yangon, and department offices. Shooting attacks on security outposts at intersections, such as police checkpoints and military checkpoints, are decreasing. In recent months, explosions of improvised explosive devices and the killing of military-affiliated nationalist activists, ward administrators, and retired military officers have occurred every few days. Among the 2 killed recently, one was a nationalist campaigner and was also a female singer who supported the military.

Just a few days ago, the National Unity Government issued a statement and informed the public about the formation of a battalion named Battalion-5101 of the People’s Defense Force based in Yangon Region under them. The formation of a battalion under the NUG is said to aim to carry out tactical attacks rather than assassinations and explosions against those affiliated with the military council.

From September to November 2021, after hundreds of urban guerilla forces were arrested in Yangon, attacks on military council outposts and patrol cars in Yangon decreased, and only bombings and assassinations continued. Ko Zeyar Thaw and Ko Jimmy, who were accused by the military council of being the main organizers of these activities, were executed around 9 months after their arrest.

As for the armed conflict in the news today, there are reports that the military council forces are attacking some of the MNDAA’s camps, commonly known as the Kokang army, in Special Region (1) in Hsenwi Township, Northern Shan Region. The attacks occurred a day after the suspension of the meeting between the military council’s peacemaking committee and the three members of the Northern Alliance, believed to be sponsored by China.

Before and after the military coup, the Kokang forces often clashed with the military, and after the military coup, there were more clashes.

It is clear that the military council’s intention behind the attack on the camps, a day later after the suspension of the peace talks was to use peace as a word, and the real attitude was to use force to win. It is clear that the military council is using tactics that include peace talks, strategic compromises, and suspension of armed conflict so that it does not reach a situation where it has to open war fronts with all the armed forces simultaneously. On the other hand, although the goals and objectives of the armed organizations are generally the same, there are also groups that want to keep their interests and the current status quo unchanged, so the idea that they will attack the military council all over the country at the same time may not be a reality.

If it is to report the usual daily news reports like battle news or news of raids, rampages, and arson by the military council troops, it is about the news of tens of thousands of residents fleeing because of the raid of the military council troops in Salingyi Township. A member of the people’s administration of Salingyi Township was also reported to have been arrested after encountering directly with the military council troops.

Another news from Sagaing Region is that the military council attacked a meeting place of community elders in Shukhinthar Village in the southern part of Kalay Township, Sagaing Region, where one person was killed and some were injured. According to reports, a helicopter attack was conducted while the community elders were having a meeting at this Shukhinthar Village School in Kalay Township, which is not governed by the military council. In areas where there is armed resistance and in areas of intense conflict, schools are occupied for military and administrative purposes. There were many examples of schools being targeted by the military council when they launched an air strike. Internationally, it is usually prohibited under any circumstances for armed groups to take over and use places such as schools and hospitals. But, in Myanmar, schools and hospitals are still stationed by armed organizations and are easy targets.

Although it was included in Sagaing Division, Kalay Town and the villages of Gangaw Township from Magway Division, which are the gateway places to Chin State, were the areas that attacked the military council troops the earliest part of the revolution after the military coup, and are still areas that the military council has not been able to regain control of.

These days, there was an attack by PDFs on the military council’s checkpoint near the immigration office in Chaung -U Town on the Mandalay-Monywa Highway in Sagaing Region, and it is reported in the news that the military council troops were killed. After the coup, the places where the most armed clashes took place in Myanmar, or the towns and villages that were repeatedly burnt down to the point where entire villages were left homeless, were in Sagaing and Magway.