Myanmar Junta Troops ‘running wild’ in Mandalay Region

By The Irrawaddy 20 May 2021

Junta forces have been harassing and looting from locals in Talokmyo village-tract in Mandalay Region’s Myingyan Township since they raided the area on May 11, according to local residents. Thousands of villagers have now fled Talokmyo.

Hundreds of junta soldiers raided the village-tract, which is seven miles from Myingyan, on May 11 and 12, and around 100 junta troops are still deployed in the area.

“They took away anything from the village that they saw: sacks of rice, peas or whatever, they put it in their vehicles. They have been ransacking shops,” a local told The Irrawaddy.

Regime soldiers have allowed only women and elderly persons to return to the village, with male residents required to report to the troops if they want to enter.

Of some 6,000 residents in Talokmyo, over 4,000 have now left, with most residents fleeing to distant villages, as junta forces are searching for them in the forest and nearby villages.

“Women are allowed to return to the village, but they dare not as the junta troops are running wild. They are also forcing villagers to carry rice and pea sacks for them. So female residents dare not return to the village. Some of the junta soldiers are riding around the village on motorbikes they have stolen from villagers,” said another resident.

“Some villagers raise cattle, so they have had to return to their homes,” said a resident. The villagers who have fled from Talokmyo are in need of basic foodstuffs and medicines, he added.

Junta troops also raided nearby villages in their attack on Talokmyo, but have not deployed in those villages and so their residents have been able to return to their homes.

Scores of people were arrested during the May 11 and 12 raid, including six university students from Myingyan who were helping the Talokmyo resistance movement against the junta. One of the six students, Ko Zin Ko Tun from Myingyan Technical College, was tortured to death in military custody.

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