Myanmar’s military regime has detained some 300 civilians for interrogation following an attack on a junta convoy in Kawhmu on the outskirts of Yangon on May 3, according to the Yangon South District People’s Defense Force (PDF).
Two junta soldiers, including a lieutenant, were reportedly killed in the attack near the village of Ngat-Aw-San in Kawhmu Township. Numerous villagers were detained that evening after junta troops from Dala, Twante, Hlaing Tharyar, Kunchangon and Dedaye townships arrived.
The regime later released the women, according to witnesses.
Some 300 male villagers, including more than 100 from Ngat-Aw-San and more than 150 from Than Kyo and others from Nyaung Htauk and Yedashae villages, are being questioned at a school in Ngat-Aw-San, said residents.
A PDF member said: “If we carry out a mission, the regime will detain all the people from nearby villages. In previous cases, they spared the elderly but detained all the young people and beat them. They were forced to kneel in the sun on a football pitch. It is routine. The situation is worse now. Previously, they would only beat villagers for two days. But villagers are being detained for a week now.”
Teenagers are among the detainees and were beaten, said villagers. Detainees remained under detention on Monday.
Junta troops also searched houses and made arrests in villages in Kunchangon and Twante townships following the attack in Kawhmu.
“PDF fighters fled into the woods after the ambush. As they have been frequently attacked, the troops are directing their anger on civilians,” said a resident.
The PDF said the May 3 attack was part of Operation Nan Htike Aung, the second operation against the regime in Yangon, and villagers were not involved.
The PDF denounced the junta’s interrogation of innocent villagers.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was first elected to the Lower House in Kawhmu Township in 2012.
According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, more than 10,500 people have been detained and around 1,800 killed by the regime since last year’s coup.
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