Myanmar’s military junta, backed by armoured vehicles on Tuesday, clashed with the newly-formed militia group People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Mandalay, the country’s second-biggest city.

Junta troops reportedly raided a boarding school in the Hton Tone ward at around 7.30 am, where the PDF fighters were based.

A PDF representative said that around 20 soldiers carried out the raid, igniting one of the first clashes between the PDF and the military in a major urban area.

PDF spokesperson Bo Tun Taunk Naing said that the forces came because they received information about where they were. “But we knew beforehand that they were coming so we had the upper hand,” said the spokesperson.

After the clash on Tuesday afternoon, the military-owned TV channel, Myawaddy, announced that the so-called “terrorists” fired at regime troops when they went to inspect the location at the intersection of 54th and 111th streets, where the militants of PFD had been allegedly storing explosives.

The channel also claimed that some members of the Junta forces were injured during the shootout but did not specify the number of casualties. According to reports, four members of the “terrorist group” have been killed and eight were arrested for possession of makeshift bombs and other weapons. No member of the PDF has confirmed the Military Junta’s claims.

Previously, the PDF has targeted the soldiers of the police force and security duty force. Also, the military council’s administrative offices and building of military-run business had been targeted by PDF militants.

On June 1, a junta soldier was killed and another was seriously injured after a PDF member started firing at military trucks in the city. Two policemen were also reportedly shot dead on June 8.

Also read: Myanmar Army committing war crimes in Chin state

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