Nearly 3,000 Civilians Flee Myanmar Regime's Aerial Bombing in Sagaing  

By The Irrawaddy 15 June 2022

Around 3,000 civilians from Sagaing Region have left their homes because of Myanmar junta air bombardment and arson attacks in Wetlet Township on Tuesday. 

A shootout broke out on Tuesday morning between around 70 regime soldiers and resistance forces in Maekone village, which had around 600 houses, in the west of the township when regime forces attempted to raid the village. 

After 45 minutes of fighting a junta fighter jet dropped two bombs on the village while ground troops used artillery. 

Bo Pyan Hlwar, a village resistance leader, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that his resistance fighters, armed with shotguns and improvised weapons, retreated because of the airstrikes.

 There were no resistance casualties, he said. 

During the raid, three villagers, Ko Garnar, 30, U Than Win, 43, and U Win Maung, 60, were shot dead by regime troops. 

Villagers found their bodies in burned houses. Most villagers had evacuated after an earlier junta raid on an adjacent village. 

Villagers are sheltering in forests and nearby villages, said Bo Pyan Hlwar. 

“We resistance fighters have better fighting spirit than the regime troops. Even though we don’t have any proper weapons, we held off their raid for an hour,” he said. “With about 10 automatic rifles we could protect our village.”

Regime forces were still deployed in the area on Wednesday, preventing villagers from returning, according to the resistance group. 

Photos show many houses have been burned down by the regime. 

Myanmar’s junta has escalated its atrocities, including the arbitrary killing of civilians, torture, using civilians as human shields, air and artillery strikes on residential areas and looting and burning houses, especially in Chin, Kachin, Kayah and Karen states and Magwe, Sagaing and Mandalay regions.

Meanwhile, the regime faces daily attacks from people’s defense forces and ethnic armed organizations.