Myanmar Junta Troops Launch Arson Attack on Historic Sagaing Village

By Hein Htoo Zan 14 January 2023

Myanmar regime soldiers launched an arson attack on an ancient village in Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region on Thursday, destroying a monastery and at least 50 houses, according to residents.

Around 100 military regime troops based in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hanlin Village in Wetlet Township arrived in neighboring Kan Gyi Taw Village in Shwebo Township at around 2pm on Thursday afternoon and started torching homes.

“We had to flee when we heard that they [junta troops] were headed to our village. We knew that they burned down houses and, after an hour, we heard fighting as People’s Defense Forces (PDF) attacked them,” said a Kan Gyi Taw villager who is now sheltering with his family in a nearby village.

A monastery and at least 50 homes were reduced to ashes by a junta arson attack in Kan Gyi Taw Village, Shwebo Township, Sagaing Region.

Regime soldiers based in Hanlin have launched previous arson attacks on nearby villages. Although Kan Gyi Taw Village is not officially part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site centered on Hanlin, locals believe that the village was once part of the same ancient Pyu city as Hanlin.

Two PDFs based in Shwebo Township – Black Wolf-Army and Who Am I – attempted to stop junta troops from torching Kan Gyi Taw Village. Soon after they clashed with regime forces, junta soldiers left the village. No casualties have been reported from the clash.

“We approached Kan Gyi Taw Village at around 2.50pm yesterday and ambushed the junta troops. A small skirmish broke out. We saw that some of them [regime soldiers] were injured. Then they left the village and went back to Hanliin,” said the spokesperson for Black Wolf-Army.

After regime forces left the village, residents and PDF fighters put out the fires, but 50 homes and a monastery still went up in smoke, said villagers.