Myanmar junta forces have raided a Sagaing Region village that is the birthplace of prominent anti-coup protester Dr. Tayzar San twice this week, injuring at least one villager, detaining a number of others and stealing and destroying the property of pro-democracy supporters.
Dr. Tayzar San, who was born in Shwe O-ya Village but grew up in Mandalay, led demonstrations against the junta’s coup from Feb. 4 in Myanmar’s second city.
He is the subject of an arrest warrant for incitement issued under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code. Regime forces have attempted to arrest Dr. Tayzar San multiple times during demonstrations, as well as raiding his home in Mandalay in April.
Over 100 troops raided Shwe O-ya Village in Wetlet Township on Wednesday afternoon, injuring one local. The man was shot while trying to run away as junta troops detained people on farms outside the village, according to a Wetlet resident who asked to remain anonymous.
The victim is being treated at Mandalay Hospital, added the resident.
Residents said that military regime soldiers also detained five villagers from the farms and used them as human shields, making them walk in front of the troops as they entered the village. The detainees were later released. Other villagers fled ahead of the junta forces.
Junta troops also destroyed the home of a former general administrator, raided the homes of members of the National League for Democracy party, and stole 13 motorbikes and some sacks of rice, said the Wetlet resident.
“We thought they had finished the raid but, last night, around 150 soldiers in six military trucks came to the village again searching for friends of Dr. Tayzar San. They [junta forces] thought people might have fled Mandalay and returned to the village because of the raid on the village on June 23, and because of the clashes in Mandalay on the same day between civilian resistance fighters and junta troops,” the Wetlet resident said.
Most residents of Shwe O-ya, which is home to some 150 households, had already fled to the forests because they were afraid of being arrested. But some members of the local People’s Defense Force (PDF) stayed to defend the village, he added.
On Friday, two other villages in Wetlet Township – Shein Makar and Thit Seint – were also targeted in regime raids.
Military regime forces are putting the fear into people every day, with military trucks patrolling and raiding the villages and threatening and arresting people they encounter, said former lawmaker U Myint Thein of Wetlet Township.
“The regime forces are patrolling the areas and showing their strength to get control of it. They instill fear and many people run to hide from them as they are afraid,” said U Myint Thein.
U Myint Thein, along with more than a dozen people in Wetlet, is also the subject of an arrest warrant for incitement issued under Article 505(a) of the Penal Code.
Residents of a number of townships in Sagaing Region, including Kalaymyo, Tamu, Yinmarbin, Kani, Mingin and Taze, have formed PDF’s to defend themselves against junta soldiers.
Junta forces have killed at least 880 people since their Feb. 1 coup, while 5,104 remain under detention and another 1,965 are the subject of arrest warrants, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
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