Myanmar Junta’s Troops Loot Villages Abandoned Due to Firefights

By The Irrawaddy 25 May 2021

Junta troops looted foodstuffs and personal belongings of residents in Sagaing Region’s Kani Township during a series of raids on several villages that had been abandoned when residents fled their homes

On Monday morning, junta troops raided about five villages while making their way to Kin village. They had been deployed at Myaunggon village for two nights. Those villages are located in the western part of Kani Township.

During the raids, troops also looted rice, money and liquor from the shops of villages and destroyed property essential to the basic needs of residents.

A female resident of Nansu village who fled her home May 16 told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the junta’s soldiers stole three rice bags, three containers of cooking oils and other foodstuffs from her shop during the raid on Monday.

The junta’s troops also destroyed other foodstuffs and stole two containers full of petrol from her shop in order to remove the residents’ access to food and transportation.

“They poured out the petrol on the ground,” the female villager said.

Currently, residents in the area are facing difficulties in transportation, faced with shortages of petrol for their motorbikes and vehicles.

They also destroyed all women’s clothing after scouring the houses, the female villager said.

“Their cruelties on the people are beyond limit,” she said.

Due to the raids, about 5,000 residents from 12 villages in the area have been living in the forests for several days.

Because of the prolonged crisis in the area, homeless villagers are now facing a lack of food and water, another resident from Kin village said.

On Tuesday morning, about 50 of 100 junta troops that have deployed at a monastery in Kin village in Kani raided neighboring Michaungtwin village again.

After a firefight with civilian resistance fighters on the Kani-Mingin Highway on Saturday, the 100 troops and nine vehicles had deployed at the Myaunggone Village for two nights.

During the deployment, the junta’s soldiers also looted food and generators and feasted upon the villagers’ chickens after scouring houses, a villager told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

In addition, a 35-year-old villager was shot dead by soldiers on Sunday morning while he was returning to his home in the village.

Shootouts between junta troops and civilian resistance fighters continued in Kani on Tuesday.

A firefight was also reported on the banks of Chindwin River near the Htu Pauk village in Kani at about 7 a.m. on Tuesday. Casualties were reported on both sides.

The Irrawaddy was not able to confirm the casualties independently.

Meanwhile, another shootout was reported Tuesday morning when civilian resistance fighters attacked the junta’s troops on three vessels travelling to northern part of Kani on the Chindwin River.

“There will be shootouts in Kani as long as they (junta’s troops) are here,” a civilian resistance fighter of Kani’s People Defense Force told The Irrawaddy.

Shootouts between the junta troops and civilian resistance fighters started in Kani of Sagaing Region on April 2.

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