Myanmar’s junta has held more than 100 male villages in Natmauk Township, Magwe Region, for over 10 days and three have been killed, according to resistance forces and residents.
“Troops have been in Hpa Taw Yay village for over three days and residents say three villagers have been killed and they keep torturing and interrogating more than 100 others,” said Ma Khayay Theint of the Nga Byay Ma Guerrilla Force, which is based in the township.
A Magwe People’s Defense Force spokesman said about 10 villagers had been transported to a police station. Phat Taw Yay had about 300 households and 2,000 residents, most of whom have now fled.
The occupation follows a resistance attack on a junta patrol and its Pyusawhti militia allies near Ywar Mon village, which has a major junta arsenal, on October 16.
Resistance forces claim to have killed four junta troops and seized two guns.
The next day approximately 80 junta troops entered Phat Taw Yay and seized about 120 male villagers and forced all females to leave for the day.
Troops also torched numerous Phat Taw Yay houses.
Natmauk is where independence hero General Aung San, father of jailed State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, was born.
Phat Taw Yay is 27km east of Natmauk town and Ywar Mon is 30km north.
“Three men were tortured to death and the torturing continues. The soldiers are asking if they are connected to the resistance and for any information. They also want their two guns back,” said a female Phat Taw Yay villager who is sheltering in a forest with her family.
She said the villagers were starving and troops were carrying away loot in trucks.
The three dead men were in their 40s and 50s and one died vomiting blood on Tuesday, witnesses said.
“He was just a farmer and had no connections to the resistance and knew nothing about the revolution,” said a relative, who is sheltering in a forest.
Troops also raided adjacent Thaputpin village and detained about 80 villagers, including village leaders, and tortured them during interrogation.
Around 50 Light Infantry Division 88 troops have occupied Myauk Mee Kone village, to the east of Phat Taw Yay, since Tuesday.
Khayay Theint, who joined the resistance after refusing to work as a teacher under military rule, said: “We lack the weapons to fight back but it is sad to see our people being tortured day by day.”
She said more deaths were to be expected as the occupation continued.