Regime Chiefs Plotting ‘Kill All, Torch All’ Policy in Upper Myanmar
By The Irrawaddy 7 March 2022
The Myanmar junta is planning a ‘kill all, torch all’ policy in Sagaing Region to crush People’s Defense Forces (PDF) there, according to sources with knowledge of the plan.
At a recent meeting, the military regime leadership decided to eliminate resistance forces in Sagaing Region before the annual Armed Forces Day on March 27, inside sources told The Irrawaddy.
Prominent PDF leader Bo Nagar from Sagaing’s Pale Township said PDFs are closely monitoring the movements of junta forces in the area because they have also received the same information.
“What I am sure is that all the people in Sagaing Region harbor grudges [against the regime]. Their resentment will not diminish. At least 80 per cent of the people in Sagaing Region have witnessed their wickedness. We will never give up our revolution,” said Bo Nagar.
The PDF chief said that he has not yet decided on a counter-strategy, but will respond accordingly to the regime’s attacks.
Resistance groups in Sagaing have come under attack from both ground forces and airstrikes in recent months.
Ko Poe Si, a resistance fighter from Sagaing’s restive Yinmabin Township, said junta troops have executed civilians and torched and looted houses while raiding villages.
“We will not surrender because we are fighting for federalism. We will keep fighting. I am concerned for monks, children and elderly persons. They [junta soldiers] have raped women and tortured and killed elderly people,” Ko Poe Si told The Irrawaddy.
However, he added that local PDFs lack the weapons to launch large-scale attacks on the Myanmar military.
“We can’t carry out attacks on them. We can only ambush them using mines, and this is the way we have to fight them. We don’t have the arms to counter-attack. We have to rely heavily on traditional hunting rifles and they can’t be used for long-range attacks,” said Ko Poe Si.
On February 26, Chin Pone Village and nearby areas in Yinmabin were targeted by indiscriminate airstrikes and junta soldiers airlifted by helicopters.
Junta forces were deployed in Chin Pone for two days. During that time they killed at least nine people and held over 80 primary schoolchildren captive so that they could be used as human shields in case of attacks by PDFs.
The children, who were all under the age of 12 with many around five to seven-years-old, were detained while attending a kindergarten at the monastery. Five houses, five cars and some 60 motorbikes were torched by junta forces before they left for nearby Thabyayaye Village, where they also torched houses and killed villagers.
The regime carried out 19 air raids in Sagaing from July 2021 to February 10, 2022, according to the Institute for Strategy and Policy Myanmar (ISP-Myanmar). There were clashes in 16 townships in Sagaing during that period, and at least 140 civilians were killed in junta massacres in those townships, according to a February 11 report from ISP-Myanmar.
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