Six Civilians Killed in Protest-Related Clash With Myanmar Regime's Troops

By The Irrawaddy 16 April 2021

At least six civilians were shot dead and at least 20 were still missing on Thursday evening in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, during a shootout between the regime’s security forces and a civilian protection group formed by anti-regime protesters.

A protester from the protection group in Kani told The Irrawaddy the shootout came after the security forces detained more than 70 protesters, including leading members of the protest committee in Kani Township.

“We heard that detained protesters were taken by the police and soldiers. The group tried to release them and waited at the checkpoint on the Kani-Monywa highway,” he said.

“While we were checking the vehicles, a military officer refused to stop the car and started shooting into the protection group. Later around 14 military vehicles opened fire randomly,” he added.

The protection group used traditional, homemade percussion-lock firearms for about four hours until about 8:30pm. The group said three Mogaung villagers and another three men from Htan Sin, Lalshay and Thaminyat villages were shot dead during the fighting.

“People are still missing this evening. We heard some monks were also arrested by the military. We don’t know what happened to them. We also don’t know the causalities from the military side,” a resident said.

Military security tightened on all the main roads in Kani Township on Friday. On April 2, three civilians in Thapyay Aye village, Kani Township, were shot dead by the regime during a protest crackdown.

Since the military regime used hand grenades and explosives to crackdown on protesters, civilians across the country have protected themselves with homemade firearms, gas-pressure guns, bows and arrows and Molotov cocktails. Some townships in Sagaing Region, including Kale, launched an offensive against the junta’s forces by using traditional, homemade firearms.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, at least 726 people had been killed and 4,034 detained by the regime by Thursday.

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