Myanmar Junta Forces Take Villagers Hostage, Burn Homes in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 30 August 2022

Junta troops have torched hundreds of houses and taken around 60 villagers hostages in Kyunhla Township, Kantbalu District of Sagaing Region, after around 30 Myanmar junta soldiers were killed by resistance forces.

Around 67 troops torching villages on the border of Kantbalu and Kawlin townships were attacked by resistance forces on August 23. At least 30 junta soldiers were killed and two captains and a second lieutenant were captured along with weaponry.

The regime then airlifted reinforcements in two MI-17 helicopters to Waila Mu village in Kyunhla last Thursday. Around 200 junta troops have since been raiding villages in Kawlin and Kyunhla.

They have taken an estimated 30 men each from Telpinseik and Inyashae villages in Kyunhla, using them as human shields as they raid villages, according to residents.

Junta troops that reportedly belong to Meiktila-based Light Infantry Battalion 113 of Division 99 raided Telpinseik village last Thursday, assisted by junta helicopters. A civilian was killed and two others injured as junta troops fired on fleeing villagers.

On Sunday, junta troops raided Einche and torched the entire village, said residents.

“We had 132 houses and now we could only see five to six. Almost all the houses have been torched,” said a villager.

A village torched by junta troops in Kyunhla. / Kyunhla Activists Group

Seventeen more houses were burned when junta troops raided Inyashae village on Monday morning. They then left for Ywagongyi village.

Tens of thousands of residents from more than 10 villages in Kyunhla have fled their homes due to junta raids since August 23.

“Some villagers have dismantled their houses and moved them into forests,” said a resident.

Displaced people need shelter and food, said residents. “We need shelters as more people are fleeing. We urgently need tarpaulins and clothes as many fled with nothing,” said a displaced villager.