The junta has ordered its troops to eliminate armed civilian resistance groups, at whose hands its forces have sustained considerable casualties, said sources familiar with security affairs in Naypyidaw. The junta’s second-most influential figure, Gen. Soe Win, instructed military commanders and all forces to annihilate the People’s Defense Force (PDF) militias – guerrilla-style resistance groups that have been active locally across the country with the common aim of toppling the regime. Soe Win also issued an order prohibiting civilians from having any contact with PDF groups, and for his troops “to inflict severe punishment on them if they don’t obey.” The general, who is the commander-in-chief of infantry forces and deputy to coup leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, told his subordinates to “find out and take action against the insurgents and PDFs immediately” and “arrest all the people from their hideouts in villages.” The junta has suffered an increasing number of attacks from the PDFs and ethnic armed organizations (EAO) across Myanmar, especially since the country’s parallel National Unity Government (NUG) declared war on the regime early in September. The PDFs and various EAOs are clearly a thorn in the junta’s side, preventing it from gaining full control of the

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