Regime Forces Loot and Torch Over 200 Houses in Upper Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 29 April 2022

Over 200 houses were razed in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township on Tuesday when Myanmar regime troops, police and pro-junta Pyu Saw Htee militia torched houses during a raid on a village.

Junta troops and police based in Khin-U Town, along with local Pyu Saw Htee militia, raided Thanbo Village from early Tuesday morning until 5pm. They shot dead a 36-year-old man during the raid, said residents.

“Almost all the houses in the village were burned down. Villagers were forced to flee their homes,” said a Khin-U resident.

Thanbo, which is home to more than 350 households, is located outside Khin-U Town. Residents did not have time to take their possessions when junta troops raided the village, firing heavy guns. The military regime forces looted valuables from homes throughout the day, before torching houses.

killed in fires in Thanbo. / Khin-U Township Information

“Thanbo villagers have staged continuous protests against the military regime. They have even held night protests. And they are also well-off. This attracted Pyu Saw Htee robbers. They were on the rampage throughout the day and left the village around 5pm after torching houses,” said another Khin-U resident.

More than 200 houses were burned down, while some 20 cows and 50 goats and sheep were killed in the fire. Harvesters, trailers, vehicles and motorbikes were also damaged in the fire.

Regime soldiers also tortured and killed a 36-year-old man during the raid, said Khin-U Township Information, an anti-regime group documenting junta atrocities in Khin-U.

Another column of junta troops advancing from Shwebo fired shells at two villages in Khin-U for no reason and torched some houses.

“Villagers still can’t return to their homes. Only a few have returned secretly to check the situation. The regime has cut off the internet for months, and access to phone service is also on and off,” said a Thanbo villager.

Motorbikes destroyed by fire in Thanbo. / Khin-U Township Information

Some 100 junta troops and police also torched 62 houses in Ywatha Village in Khin-U on April 23, killing two civilians. They also raided an outpost of a local People’s Defense Force (PDF).

Almost 1,000 houses have been destroyed in junta raids in Khin-U Township, with around 4,500 people left homeless and in need of relief supplies, said Khin-U Support Organization (KSO).

An official of KSO said: “People are losing their lives, and it is difficult to estimate the financial loss of their possessions. The most important for the time being is to help the displaced people to survive.”

Junta troops, police and Pyu Saw Htee militia have raided and torched houses in over a dozen villages in Khin-U Township. 156 PDF fighters and civilians have died and some 100 others were injured, said Khin-U Township Information.

Locals from Pyinhtaung, Magyitone, Madaunghla and Ywathitgon villages have also been forced from their homes after regime troops and Pyu Saw Htee militia deployed in those villages.