Burma

Myanmar Regime Troops Kill 17 Civilians in Two Days in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 15 August 2022

A total of 17 civilians, including a child, have been killed in a Myanmar junta raid and airstrikes on a Sagaing Region village.

On Thursday around 60 regime soldiers, airlifted by helicopters, occupied Yin Paung Taing village in the south of Yinmabin Township after three Russian-made MI-35 helicopters attacked villagers using machine guns and rockets.

The villagers were preparing a meal for resistance fighters from Chin State. Many villagers and Chin People’s Defense Force members were trapped in the village while around 3,000 residents escaped.

Overnight most of the resistance members escaped after a shootout with regime forces.

On Friday, approximately 90 more regime reinforcements were dropped by helicopter and an MI-35 attacked after resistance groups tried to evacuate the trapped civilians.

On Sunday, regime troops left the village and residents found 17 bodies, including the remains of six people burned by troops.

Twelve were Yin Paung Tiaing villagers, according to residents and the Young Ranger Force (YRF), a resistance force.

Ko Bala of the group told The Irrawaddy on Monday that a 10-year-old girl and villager Daw Nwe Nwe, 52, were killed by helicopter bombs.

“We will live without any worry when we annihilate the regime. Until then there is nowhere safe for everyone,” he said.

Villagers Ko Thaw Phone Naing, 17, Ko Saung Win Latt, 40, U Mg Myint, 55, Ko Nyein Thu Aung, 24, Daw Yi Myint, 45, U Kyaw Win Swe, 73, and Ko Pwa Gyi, 45, who suffered from mental illness, were shot dead by troops.

Villagers Daw Khin Mya, 85, and Daw Ni, 62, starved to death while trapped in the village.

U Kyaw Hmawe, 67, died while fleeing junta airstrikes, according to the YRF.

Residents found five other bodies, one of which was confirmed as an ethnic Chin resistance fighter, a villager told The Irrawaddy.

Pro-regime Telegram channels reported last Friday that seven resistance fighters were killed and many firearms and ammunition were seized during the raid.

Regime forces torched about six buildings and many houses were bombed, residents said.

The troops took around 32 villagers as human shields as they raided villages in Pale Township on Sunday.

Shootouts broke out with resistance forces on Sunday.

The casualty numbers are unknown.

Since Thursday, around 7,000 residents from seven villages have fled their homes.

Amid repeated resistance attacks, regime forces have relentlessly committed atrocities, including the arbitrary killing of civilians, torturing and burning people alive, using civilians as human shields, air and artillery strikes on residential areas, looting and burning houses and acts of sexual violence.

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