At least three officers serving the Dagon Seikkan Central Police Station were allegedly killed this morning, as Yangon’s resistance groups staged a visible return to operations following a month-long lull in attacks.
“I heard two loud explosions at first and then came about 20 gunshots, including single shots and rounds from automatic rifles. I pray for the safety of our young gunmen,” one resident of Dagon Seikkan told DVB.
Civil Guerrilla Force (CGF-HTY) and Yangon Federal Army (YFA) took joint responsibility for the attack in which they claim three policemen were killed and another three were seriously wounded.
The groups purportedly used a M79 40mm grenade launcher during the ambush, and CGF-HTY has since uploaded a video to its Facebook page showing a young man firing two M19 40mm rounds across a busy street that resembles the location of Dagon Seikkan Central Police Station.
Following the attack, two young men who passed the station on a motorcycle were beaten and arrested, a source living near the station told Khit Thit media. The same source relayed seeing four ambulances drive into the police station in the aftermath of the attack.
Security forces reportedly blocked the surrounding area, ran arbitrary checks on passersby, and sent officers into the nearby Yuzana Garden City housing complex, already the scene of a large number of raids and arrests since the coup.
Notably, YFA announced that the attack was linked to the National Unity Government’s (NUG) Yangon Region Military Command’s (YRMC) “Operation Pyan Hlwar Aung”, or Operation Swallow, an ongoing campaign of high profile attacks on security force targets.
In November, extensive military raids that saw scores of Yangon PDF members detained (culminating in the capture of former rapper and NLD lawmaker, Zeya Thaw, accused by the junta of being the YRMC second-in-command), had prompted the junta to proclaim victory over resistance groups operating in Burma’s largest city.
Despite sporadic attacks—notably in the industrial township of Hlaingtharyar—news of audacious PDF activity in Yangon (comparable to the gory drive-bys, executions, and railway massacres of the months preceding) had, since the arrests, been few and far between.
This week, Yangon’s PDF groups appear to have bucked the downward trend; the attack on Dagon Seikkan’s central police station comes just hours after Yangon’s Dictator Revolt Front (DRF) claimed that it had laid landmines across Anawrahta Road in East Dagon, just shy of the center of Yangon. Similarly, local media outlets this morning reported that an explosion took place near Cargyi gate in Thingangyun township.
This new wave of attacks occurred shortly after security forces were observed patrolling the nighttime streets of Yangon (and elsewhere), optimistically declaring via loudspeaker that troops would allow citizens the rest of the year to hand over weapons and explosive devices.
DVB received reports that soldiers relayed the message in Dagon Seikkan, Latha, Lanmadaw and a number of other townships in both Yangon and Mandalay regions—it is unclear whether troops truly believe that anyone listening would have the spirit to endow them with early Christmas gifts.