Friday, September 3, 2021

PDF Cell Responsible For Train Attack Captured

                   (Balaminhtin’s post from his Facebook Page on September 3, 2021.) 

In the dark night of September-2, Myanmar Army raided an apartment unit in the Myittar Nyunt Ward of Tarmwe Township in Rangoon City, and captured four members of the PDF (People Defense Force) cell responsible for the fatal attack on the police security unit riding on Rangoon City Circle train on August-14.

The train ambush killed five policemen and wounded one and the PDF got away with four automatic assault rifles and assorted ammunitions. The captured PDF cell members are Myat Phyo Pwint (the only female and the owner of the apartment raided), Kyaw Win Soe, Kaung Pye San Oo, and San Min Aung.

The four assault rifles taken from the Myanmar Police were also recaptured from the unit. The apartment owner and financial backer Myat Phyo Pwint is declared by Myanmar Army as the wealthy daughter of a serving NCO from Myanmar Army’s Construction Engineering Corps (GE).

The following article from the Myanmar Now (a resistance media organization) was the story of train ambush on the security police unit on a Rangoon City Circle train on August-14.

PDF Kiled Five Cops on  Rangoon City-circle Train  

At around 4pm on August 14, a four-carriage train pulled out of Yangon’s main railway station and began its journey towards Insein Township. In the last carriage were six heavily armed police officers.

As the train followed the city’s circle line in a clockwise direction, a group of young men boarded it one by one at stations along the way. They were members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) formed to resist the military junta that seized power in February.

By the time they reached Ahlone Road Station, the fifth stop from Yangon Central Station, all of the PDF members were on the train. But none of the men in these two groups would get as far as Pun Hlaing Road Station, the next stop on the line.

One of the resistance fighters now sharing the last carriage of the train with the six policemen and about a dozen civilian passengers was a man known to his comrades as La Pyae Wun, a nom de guerre meaning “Full Moon”.

The former businessman said he decided to join the PDF after witnessing the regime’s deadly crackdowns on peaceful protests. “Our country is ruled by nothing but brute force,” he explained when asked why he went to a liberated area to get military training so that he could return to Yangon as an urban guerrilla.

The attack they carried out that day was carefully planned. Besides those who positioned themselves around the police officers in the guise of ordinary passengers, there were others assigned the task of telling the train’s driver where to stop.

The plan was to shoot the policemen and seize their weapons somewhere between Ahlone and Pun Hlaing stations. If there were no hitches, it would all be over in three minutes. La Pyae Wun stood at the front of the carriage, while others in his group placed themselves directly opposite the policemen. They noticed that the youngest was in his 20s, while the others were all middle-aged. One, in his 50s, was asleep in his seat.

Suddenly, two PDF members dropped to their knees while others in their group opened fire with 9mm pistols. The ones who were kneeling started shooting next. Then La Pyae Wun and another shooter aimed for their targets. Altogether, 18 rounds were fired, according to La Pyae Wun.

Next, the PDF members moved to take the policemen’s guns. However, in their haste to get off the train, they were unable to get two of them. In the end, they escaped with two AK-47s, a G3 rifle, and a BA94 Uzi submachine gun. As the train slowed down, the PDF team jumped off and fled with their weapons. The entire operation took three minutes, exactly as planned.

La Pyae Wun said it saddened him to have to kill the policemen, but insisted that it was necessary to put pressure on the regime. He also urged more officers to join the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) against military rule.

“I’m just a simple man. I’d rather not see such vile and violent things in my life. The same is true of the others in our team. We are simply doing the work that must be done for the future of the country and its people,” he said.

The goal, he explained, was to put the regime and those who support it on notice. He warned that the resistance would be relentless in its efforts to restore civilian rule under a new constitution. “We would like to tell the military council that all of our attacks will be neat and clean, without leaving a trace, just like this one,” he added.

In addition to the weapons and 100 rounds of ammunition that they seized, La Pyae Wun’s PDF team (which has carried out at least 10 other similar attacks) also took the police and national ID cards of their victims, as well as 53,000 kyat in cash. “We used the 53,000 kyat to make donations in their names,” said La Pyae Wun.

While the PDF is not afraid to resort to violence, that isn’t the only tool at its disposal. According to La Pyae Wun, it also has more sophisticated means of undermining the junta’s power. “We are the educated youths of the country. We are using advanced technologies that you have never even heard of to destroy you all,” he warned the junta’s armed forces.

More importantly, according to La Pyae Wun, the PDF has the support of the public, without which, he said, the August 14 attack would not have been possible. “We later learned that we were able to flee so easily only because the civilian passengers tried to derail the authorities in their investigations,” he told Myanmar Now.

Addressing the junta, he added: “You are literally surrounded by the people. These are not the same people you used to know. The people now have the power to fight and the will to eradicate the likes of you.”

Violent assaults on regime targets have become more frequent since June 1, when urban guerrilla groups around the country issued a warning that they planned to step up their offensives. The June 18 bombing of a military vehicle in Yangon, which left one deputy police chief dead and four soldiers and two policemen wounded, signalled a new phase in the campaign to oust the regime by any means possible.

Even before that attack, however, a total of 170 people had been killed on suspicion of acting as regime informers, according to figures released by the junta’s information department at a press conference held on June 15. The regime did not reveal how many of these were military personnel or members of “vigilante” groups – PyuSawHtees - armed by the regime to act as proxies in clashes with protesters.

                  (Myat Phyo Pwint's confession of her role in the City-circle train attack.)