Myanmar Junta Torches Village Twice in Two Days

By The Irrawaddy 24 September 2021

Myanmar’s military regime burned down houses in a village in Sagaing Region’s Taze Township on Friday, the second time in two days junta troops have torched the village, according to local residents.

Regime soldiers raided Kyikone Village and set houses on fire after relatives of a policewoman living in the village were murdered by unknown assailants on Wednesday night.

“They came in a car and burned houses again. Yesterday, they torched the southern part of the village. Today, they torched the northern part,” said a villager who wished to stay anonymous.

He added, “They torched the houses of National League for Democracy (NLD) members yesterday, and the houses that were torched today might also belong to NLD members. Perhaps they [junta forces] did it in reprisal for the murder of the police officer’s relatives”.

On Wednesday night, locals reported hearing an exchange of gunfire and then found family members of the policewoman dead. The victims reportedly included U Ye Myint, who was alleged to be a member of a Pyu Saw Htee group, a militia trained and armed by the junta, as well as his wife, daughter and grandchild.

Details of the incident and the exact number of victims are still unknown, as some villagers fled immediately after the shootout, with most of the rest of the villagers following the next morning, according to a resident.

On Thursday morning, U Ye Myint’s daughter, who is a policewoman, came with junta soldiers and set some houses in the village on fire.

“Junta troops came and torched the village following the incident. No one knows exactly what happened Wednesday night. His [U Ye Myint’s] three daughters are all policewomen. His son-in-law is a policeman, too. Some villagers fled on Wednesday night and some fled the following morning,” said another resident.

At least 18 houses were razed on Thursday after junta troops set them on fire, according to locals. Another 15 houses were destroyed in Friday’s arson attack.

Taze Township’s People’s Defense Force (PDF) denied responsibility for the murders of U Ye Myint and his family.

“We are based far from that village. And we don’t kill innocent children or harm innocent civilians,” said a member of the Taze PDF.

“We abide by the National Unity Government’s policy [not to harm civilians]. We never do any harm to people who have nothing to do with the junta,” he added.

Kyikone village has around 100 households. Almost all the villagers have fled following the raids. Thousands of people from nearby villages have also fled the fighting in Sagaing Region

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