Regime Forces Torch Houses in Upper Myanmar in Latest Arson Attack

By The Irrawaddy 16 February 2022

Thirty-nine houses were burned down in a village in Sagaing Region’s Taze Township last week in the latest arson attack by Myanmar junta forces. It was the 13th such attack on Kabaung Kya Village over the past few months, in which a total of 124 houses have been reduced to ashes, according to local residents and resistance groups.

Junta troops deployed in Kabaung Kya from February 11 to 14 and torched 39 houses, said residents.

“They have been torching houses almost every day in the village. The latest [arson attack] caused heavy damage. There was also a shooting. Casualties are still unknown,” said a Kabaung Kya resident, who returned to the village after fleeing to see the damage caused by the fires.

Kabaung Kya Village is in the west of Taze Township and is normally home to some 30,000 people in nearly 700 households. The village has been repeatedly raided and the villagers fled months ago. No residents were present during the latest arson attack.

Local resistance groups said that they ambushed the military regime troops with remote-detonated mines as they left the village. At least 20 junta soldiers are thought to have been killed in the attack.

Junta forces have torched four villages in Taze Township since February 1, with almost 80 houses: 20 in Padi Village, four in Pechaung Village, 15 in Kayutaw Village and 39 in Kabaung Kya Village, burned down, according to Taze People’s Defense Force (PDF).

Some 4,570 houses nationwide are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed by junta arson attacks since the coup, according to Data for Myanmar. Sagaing Region suffered the heaviest damage with 2,567 buildings torched by the regime, followed by Chin State with 976 buildings, Magwe with 626 buildings and Kayah State with 310 buildings.

Tens of thousands of Taze residents have been displaced by the fighting between the Myanmar military and local PDFs.


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