Myanmar Regime Soldiers Commit Arbitrary Killings, Looting During Raids

By The Irrawaddy 23 August 2021

Myanmar junta forces are continuing their wave of arbitrary killing and looting across the country, even as regime casualties mount as civilian fighters step up their armed resistance to the junta.

On Saturday evening, a married couple were shot dead by junta forces in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region, according to local media.

Ko Maung Aye, 36, a farmer and seller of agricultural chemicals, and his wife Ma Nwe Nwe Aye, 36, a nurse, were targeted by security forces between Khin-U town and Kan Tharyar Village.

Junta forces gunned down the couple after they allegedly refused to stop at a military checkpoint, a relative told the media.

Ko Maung Aye died from a gunshot to the head, while his wife died after being shot in the stomach.

The slain couple leave behind a three-year-old daughter. Junta troops also stole more than 1 million kyats (US$610) belonging to the couple, the relative told the media.

Also on Saturday, a 72-year-old from Hnan Khar Village in Magwe Region’s Gangaw Township died early morning of internal injuries after he was tortured by soldiers during a raid on his village on August 19.

Regime soldiers in four vehicles raided the village on the Gangaw-Kale Highway after a military convoy was ambushed nearby with landmines by civilian resistance fighters last week. An estimated 30 junta troops were reportedly killed in the attack, The Irrawaddy was told.

During the raid on Hnan Khar Village, the 72-year-old was tortured by junta soldiers after he was left behind when the rest of the village fled.

“He died of internal injuries. He also suffered a serious neck injury. As he was an old man, he could not survive the injuries,” a Hnan Khar villager told The Irrawaddy.

Homes in the village were also looted by the junta soldiers, who took televisions and even children’s toys, a resident said.

Early Sunday morning, regime forces in two columns raided and looted villages in Sagaing Region’s Depayin Township, according to the residents.

But regime forces are also encountering growing resistance across the country, including in urban areas.

Around 27 junta soldiers were reportedly killed in the course of three days in firefights with People’s Defense Forces (PDF) in Sagaing Region and Chin and Kayah States.

Civilian resistance fighters from Sagaing Region’s Tamu Township attacked junta forces on Monday morning at the Government Technology University outside the town.

17 junta soldiers and a civilian fighter of PDF-Tamu were reportedly killed in the attack. Another two soldiers were killed in a bomb attack at a school in Tamu on Sunday morning.

Over the weekend, eight junta troops were also killed in firefights with ethnic armed groups in Kayah State’s Bawlakhe Township and Chin State’s Thantlang Township.

Armed resistance to the junta began in late March, in response to lethal crackdowns by regime forces on peaceful anti-coup protesters.

Almost 1,010 people have been killed by the regime since the junta’s February 1 coup, as of Saturday, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. Over 7,400 people, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta or face arrest warrants.

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