The first cadre of an insurgent force intent on fighting against the Tatmadaw has graduated as the tide of violence rises in Yangon and nationwide.
Several dozen men marched in camouflage and paraded before a makeshift review stand in footage released Friday by the provisional government of the first graduation of its People’s Defense Force fighters.
Yee Mon, newly appointed defense minister of the National Unity Government sent a message of encouragement to the young soldiers of the PDF, who marched under a flag nearly identical to that of the National Democratic League Party of deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Tatmadaw fields an estimated 350,000 troops. The organized, armed ethnic insurgencies allied with the PDF count somewhere short of 80,000 fighters.
While the prospects of an organized militia to take on the massive Tatmadaw machinery of the remain unknown, violence swelled this week in a series of bombings and assassinations targeting junta loyalists.
Bombs and gunfire erupted in cities across Myanmar, including in several Yangon townships. An explosion in Thaketa Township reportedly killed a military-appointed official Thursday morning.
In the Mon state town of Bilin, the chairman of the military’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, or USDP, was shot dead.
There were also at least two explosions near Police Station No. 2 in Ward 10, at the Thingangyun Township Electricity Office, Insein Road Transport Administration Office and in East Dagon.
One Thaketa resident told Coconuts that two blasts were heard at about 8am on Thursday, and military-appointed ward officer Phone Ngwe was shot dead at his 20th Street home in Man Pyay 3 Ward. Security forces in Kyimyindaing Township were also attacked in a drive-by shooting, one soldier reportedly killed and another wounded.
The attacks represent a slide into asymmetrical violence as resistance elements adopt hit-and-run tactics that could risk unleashing a new wave of atrocities.
Khit Thit Media reported that nearly 30 weapons and ammunition destined for Tachileik, were seized in Mae Sot, Thailand.
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