Burma

More than 5,000 civilians flee as Myanmar Junta Burns Villages in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 14 June 2022

More than 5,000 civilians from Mawlaik Township, Sagaing Region, have fled their homes as Myanmar’s regime forces raided and burned down over 1,000 houses in four villages in the township within three days.

Between June 10 and 12 without being attacked an estimated 250 troops from Battalion 366 raided Yuwa, Magyi Tan, Mawku and Tatkone villages to the west of the Chindwin River, according to residents.

Two Magyi Tan villagers in their 20s, Ko Sithu and Ko Phyo, were detained and tortured to death by troops and pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia members on June 10, a rescue worker told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

She said the two bodies had been stabbed and chopped many times.

Troops looted valuables, including furniture, motorbikes and electronic devices.

Troops killed livestock and destroyed tools they could not carry with them, according to the rescuer, who also lost her house and possessions in Yuwa.

She said the regime forces had used four barges to transport loot to their battalion in Mawlaik.

All four villages were totally destroyed.

Most residents are sheltering in forests and refugee camps. Food, medicine and tents are required for the fleeing villagers, said the rescue worker.

“Sagaing faces the regime’s extreme oppression. I call on everyone across the country to revolt against the junta,” a Yuwa villager said. “Don’t be cold-blooded about the regime’s atrocities.”

By the end of May, an estimated 18,886 houses and other buildings had been burned down by the regime, according to Data for Myanmar, an independent group monitoring junta atrocities.

Sagaing has suffered the most, losing an estimated 13,840 houses, followed by Magwe Region with 3,055 houses burned down by regime forces.

On June 10, several hundred civilians from Pakokku Township in Magwe Region fled their homes after regime forces burned down around 170 houses in three villages, according to media reports.

Myanmar’s junta faces daily attacks from people’s defense forces and ethnic armed organizations across the country.

Meanwhile, the junta has escalated its atrocities, including the arbitrary killing of civilians, torture, using civilians as human shields, air and artillery strikes on residential areas and looting and burning houses, especially in Chin, Kachin, Shan, Kayah and Karen states and Magwe, Sagaing and Mandalay regions.

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