Burma

Myanmar Junta Helicopters Raid on Township Administration Hub

By The Irrawaddy 26 October 2022

A Pale people’s administration hub in Sagaing Region has been raided by Myanmar’s junta troops on Tuesday.

A Russian MI-35 helicopter attacked the resistance base, which was defended by Pale People’s Defense Force (PDF) while more than 100 regime grounds, who were dropped by two other helicopters, stormed the compound, a Pale PDF representative said.

The base was responsible for the township’s civilian administration and held many pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia members, junta soldiers, junta informants and other criminals.

Almost all of the administrative staff and PDF fighters escaped after being tipped off, the spokesman said.

However, many prisoners of war were seized by regime forces while they were being evacuated in a vehicle, the PDF spokesman told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Regime forces burned the buildings at the base and houses in the adjacent village.

“The administrative team have governed the township well. We are sorry that our base was occupied but we will continue to struggle,” the PDF spokesman said.

He said there was relief that all the administrative staff escaped unhurt but some PDF members are still missing.

The regime claimed on Tuesday that its forces freed 26 people, including civil servants and villagers detained by the civilian National Unity Government and PDFs.

It said the raid was to rescue the wife of an army officer who was captured by the resistance fighters on October 12 while she was traveling to Magwe Region from Monywa in Sagaing Region.

The bodies of PDF fighters and ammunition were seized during shootouts, the junta said.

On October 19, regime forces used six aircraft to raid Yin Paung Taing and nearby villages on the border between Pale and Yinmabin townships in Sagaing Region to supposedly search for the officer’s wife.

Two women were reportedly shot dead by regime forces while fleeing.

On October 20, regime troops raided nearby Shwe Hlan village, supposedly to search for the officer’s wife.

During the mission, shootouts broke out at a resistance base and some resistance fighters’ bodies were seized, the junta claimed.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.

Nine resistance fighters were killed at Shwe Hlan village and burned by regime forces along with a villager, residents told the media.

Eight civilian houses in the village were reportedly burned.

The junta faces attacks from resistance groups and ethnic armed organizations across the country and is using air raids to indiscriminately attack civilian targets.

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