At least 30 junta soldiers have been killed in a clash between the Myanmar army and rebel groups in the Sagaing region. Radio Free Asia quoted members of the People's Defense Force (PDF) as saying that the fighting took place when junta troops launched an operation in the area.
PDF spokesman Informer said a military convoy was hit by landmines outside Pell Township on Monday morning, killing at least 30 government soldiers, including a commander. He said that we had been waiting for the convoy since Sunday as we heard that a senior commander was coming along.
The country has been in turmoil since the February 1 military coup in Myanmar. Myanmar's military, led by Senior General Ming Aung Hling, declared a one-year state of emergency, removing the civilian government. The coup led to mass protests, which later took the form of violence.
In the more than eight months since the coup, military forces in Myanmar have killed 1,167 civilians while arresting at least 7,219 people in the country, according to data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP). There has been a significant increase in the number of clashes between the Myanmar military and rebel groups, reaching 132 incidents of conflict in the last month alone.
Detained Myanmar President Win Myint said on Tuesday that senior military officials tried to force him to resign, citing false health conditions on the day of the coup. Radio Free Asia reported that Vin's statement came during his testimony on the defamation charges against him.
Win Myint said that two high-ranking officers (possibly a lieutenant general or general) came to his home on the morning of 1 February and pressured him to step down, citing ill health. Radio Free Asia quoted Win's security team as saying that the president turned down his offer, saying he was in "perfect health". The team said officials warned him that he would suffer a lot if he did not obey, but the president told him he would rather die than consent.