Scores of Villagers Flee Junta Airstrikes in Upper Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 30 November 2021

More than 30,000 residents from about 15 villages in Tabayin Township, Sagaing Region, have fled their homes due to Myanmar’s junta airstrikes on civilian targets, according to resistance groups.

The regime used five helicopters to deploy reinforcement in the township, which is also known as Depayin, on Saturday after its troops were ambushed using landmines.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the reports.

Two military detachments were allegedly planning to raid villages but had been attacked by resistance groups since Thursday.

On Saturday afternoon, two regime attack helicopters opened fire on Nyaung Hla village while three other helicopters dropped reinforcements, according to residents.

“The helicopters opened fire on everyone they could see,” a villager, who is among nearly 3,000 villagers sheltering at a camp, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Two civilians were reportedly killed and three others wounded in the airstrikes, he added.

After the airstrikes, more than 100 junta troops flown in by helicopters occupied the village for two days. The regime forces left on Tuesday after burning motorbikes and destroying houses.

A villager said it was the eighth junta raid on the village.

Residents are sheltering in the forests and neighboring villages.

“This is a ruthless act. The helicopters attacked civilians indiscriminately. Thousands have been forced from their homes,” said a resident who assists those displaced.

On Sunday, a small firefight occurred when a resistance group ambushed regime forces near Nyaung Hla using landmines.

A resistance force from Shwebo Township claimed to have killed at least 50 junta soldiers in Tabayin on Sunday when a combined force attacked 150 junta troops, including reinforcements flown in by helicopter.

Since early November the junta has been raiding villages in the township.

The regime allegedly suffered heavy losses in landmine ambushes by resistance forces on Nov. 8, 14, 15 and 25.

Around 40 civilians, including several children, were killed by regime forces in the township in early July when young villagers using homemade weapons attempted to protect their villages from junta raids.

On Nov. 19, the regime used two Mi35 helicopters to attack several civilian resistance forces attempting to evacuate trapped troops in Saw Township, Magwe Region.

The junta has used helicopters and jet fighters to attack the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) in Kayah and Chin states and Magwe and Sagaing regions.

The regime’s atrocities continue, including the arbitrary killing of civilians, using detained civilians as human shields, bombarding residential areas, looting and burning houses and committing sexual violence across Myanmar.

PDF attacks

Around 25 junta soldiers were reportedly killed in three days when in PDF attacks against regime forces in Sagaing and Mandalay regions.

On Tuesday morning, Mingin Spring Revolution, the media wing of Mingin PDF, said around 12 regime troops and members of Phu-Saw-Htee – a militia which is trained and armed by the regime – were reportedly killed and 10 others wounded by PDF landmines when they attempted to raid Phatkhet village in Mingin Township, Sagaing Region.

On Sunday, regime forces were ambushed with mines at the village.

Mingin Spring Revolution said a military helicopter appeared to be transporting the junta’s dead and injured on Tuesday afternoon while another helicopter hovered over the area.

On Monday, a shootout occurred in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, when the Kani PDF attacked regime forces at Netgyi village in the township. The PDF said there were two military casualties in the firefight.

A combined group of the Kani and Yinmabin PDFs attacked a military ship patrolling the Chindwin river in Yinmabin Township, Sagaing Region, on Monday. There were military casualties, the PDFs said.

The Burmese Student Organization, a civilian resistance group, claimed to have killed two junta troops during a raid on a police station in Tamu Township, Sagaing Region, on Monday morning. It submitted photos of two seized firearms and ammunition.

On Monday, Generation Z Power, a Mandalay-based resistance group, attacked regime forces at the junta-controlled Myanma Posts and Telecommunication in Pyigyitagon Township, Mandalay Region, using explosives and firearms.

The group said four junta troops were killed in the attack.

Junta forces are reportedly facing numerous attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed groups across the country.

The regime forces continue to raid, arrest and kill civilians.

By Monday, 1,297 people had been slain by regime forces during raids, crackdowns, arrests, interrogations and arbitrary killings, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group which records deaths and arrests since the Feb. 1 coup.

Another 10,536 people, including elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta.


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