Myanmar junta troops have killed four civilians in Sagaing Region since July 17, including a teenage boy and two women in their late 80s, as well as seven resistance fighters during their raids on villages in Khin-U Township, while forcing over 10,000 locals to flee their homes.
Four columns of junta soldiers, including over 100 from Ye-U Township and 60 who were airlifted into Khin-U, have been raiding villages in the township since July 17.
Four locals, including a 13-year-old boy and two old women, and seven resistance fighters were killed in the raids, according to local People’s Defense Forces (PDF). The PDF fighters were not killed in battle, but were murdered in cold blood after being captured by military regime troops.
“Some victims were shot dead. Some victims wounded by gunshots were cut with a knife before being shot dead. Some were shot and put in the fire,” said a local resident.
Two resistance fighters were killed by junta troops when they went to Thawuthti Village to rescue villagers, believing that regime forces had already left the village.
A 13-year-old boy from Magyi Oak Village was wounded by regime gunfire. A local PDF leader drove him to a hospital but their vehicle encountered junta troops. The PDF leader was shot dead, while the boy was dragged from the vehicle and left in a ditch to die.
Junta troops fired mortars at fleeing villagers during their raid on Magyi Oak Village on July 26 knowing that they were civilians, said residents.
A villager said: “The first group [of junta soldiers] came in secretly. After they had surrounded the village, the second group opened fire. So the villagers who were fleeing were trapped. Then they fired mortar shells at us, even though they knew we were just villagers fleeing, before opening fire on us.”
The National League for Democracy’s Khin-U Township organizer Ko Aung Naing Win, 35, was burned alive in a silo in Shin Min Dwe Village, while an 89-year-old woman who was too old to flee was burned alive in her house in Letpan Hla Village.
On Saturday, junta troops fired artillery at Inn Pat Village in Khin-U from 8am to 4pm. An 86-year-old woman was killed in an artillery strike and two others, including an 85-year-old woman, were injured.
A Khin-U resident told The Irrawaddy on Sunday: “They fired artillery almost the whole day from the south-west of Inn Pat Village. The attack was more intense after 2pm when they [junta troops] searched the village with drones and fired shells. An old woman was hit in the head by shrapnel and her brains came out. The two others sustained minor injuries.”
Five houses were damaged by artillery strikes, he added. Regime troops belonging to Division 33 of the Northwestern Command and their affiliates committed the killings and arson attacks, according to locals. The troops raided villages in the southeast and northeast of Khin-U and around half of the soldiers reportedly remain in Khin-U Town.