Burma

Myanmar Junta Forces Detain Villagers in Bago Region

By The Irrawaddy 29 June 2021

Junta forces arrested six male villagers on Sunday after raiding Sin Zaloke Village in Daik-U Township, Bago Region.

“Three junta trucks entered the village around 2.30pm on Sunday. They fired around nine shots before entering the house of village National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Soe Win,” said a resident.

“Then, they searched the house of Zaw Htwe and said they found improvised explosive devices there. They called for more military trucks and soldiers to come to the village. They arrested six villagers,” he added.

The six detainees were not wanted by the regime, but were randomly arrested while fleeing after junta troops entered the village, according to locals.

Four of the detainees are in their 20s and the two others are between 40 and 50. All make a living farming and selling bamboo shoots, said residents.

“They arrested those who tried to run away. Some of the people were forced to kneel down and then slapped in their faces. Some houses were ransacked. They [junta forces] left after firing three shots.”

Junta troops questioned residents and searched houses from 2.30pm to 11pm on Sunday. Around 60 male villagers, from teenagers to men over 50, fled into a nearby forest following the junta raid. Women stayed in the village for fear that the village might be set on fire if all the villagers fled.

“We have farms to take care of. We dare not go back to the village for fear that we might be arrested. We don’t like having to flee as we did nothing wrong,” a villager who fled told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

Sin Zaloke villagers have staged protests against military rule since the junta’s February coup, like the majority of civilians across the country.

The military regime has made no comment about Sunday’s raid on the village. The Irrawaddy was also unable to obtain comments from Daik-U Township General Administration Department and local police about the raid.


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