Nearly 10,000 Civilians Flee Myanmar Junta Raids in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 26 May 2022

Nearly 10,000 civilians from 19 villages in Salingyi and Yinmabin townships, Sagaing Region, have reportedly fled their homes since Wednesday amid raids by Myanmar’s regime.

On Thursday morning, more than 80 regime soldiers from Yinmabin advanced on Salingyi and torched War Tan village.

On Wednesday, they raided Aung Chan Thar, Mya Yeik and Htan Taw Gyi villages in Yinmarbin and torched civilian houses.

The affected villages in both townships have at least 1,000 inhabitants each.

Two civilians were detained to be used as guides and then killed by the soldiers near Kan Kone cemetery, according to a resident.

The victims, in their 30s, were from Done Taw and Yoar Tha villages.

Monsoon rains have caused fleeing villagers more trouble.

A Yinmabin Information Group video shows villagers moving their belongings on motorbikes on muddy roads in the rain.

“The whole villages had to flee. Some elderly people suffered from severe health problems,“ said Ko Zee Kwat of Salingyi.

Some civilians took stayed with relatives or in monasteries while others shelter from the rain under tarpaulins.

The regime cut phone lines on Wednesday, according to residents.

Troops burned houses in Moe Kaung and Ta Yaw Kyin villages in Yinmabin earlier this week. Nearly 50 Ta Yaw Kyin houses were burned down.

Ko Khant, the head of North Yamar People’s Defence Force, which is active in Yinmarbin, said the group did not know the exact numbers of destroyed houses and that this was the second wave of arson attacks.

Ta Pyay Aye, Chin Pone and Aung Chan Thar villages in Yinmarbin were abandoned in February.

A Tha Pyay Aye villager said: “We live in the forest under tarpaulins. As the rainy season sets in, it will become harder for us.”

Sagaing, a resistance stronghold, faces heavy junta attacks with Yinmabin, Salingyi, Kani, Chaung-U, Ye-U, Khin-U, Myinmu and Depeyin townships being raided this month and tens of thousands displaced.