Myanmar Junta Burns More Than 700 Civilian Houses in One Month

By The Irrawaddy 8 April 2022

About 750 houses in 13 villages have been burned in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region, by Myanmar’s junta forces since March 5.

The township has been a resistance stronghold for almost a year.

A Khin-U Guerrilla Force spokesman said regime forces have been attacking villages with artillery and burning homes.

Data for Myanmar, an independent monitoring group, said 4,954 homes had been burned since last year across Sagaing Region. In Khin-U it said 408 homes were burned last month. Early April saw an increasing number of arson attacks.

There are over 60 villages in the township, a few of which are pro-junta. Many troops have died in resistance landmine ambushes. In October, about 60 junta soldiers and allied Pyu Saw Htee militia members were reportedly killed in a resistance ambush.

“Regime forces threaten villagers not to support the resistance by burning their houses. They said they suffer because their village backs the resistance. But villagers support us no matter what,” said the Guerrilla Force representative.

He said villages were being burned down, regardless of their proximity to resistance attacks.

Regime troops in civilian clothes in the township started the arson attacks in Dan Kone village by burning 43 houses on March 5.

Heavy fighting was reported on March 8 in which about 11 resistance fighters died and regime causalities were unknown, according to the Khin-U Guerilla Force.

Ngar Tin Gyi village was the latest to be burned, losing 250 to 300 houses on April 4.

About 7,000 Khin-U residents have been made homeless since March and over 30,000 people have been displaced. They lack food, shelter and medicines, according to the resistance group.