Villagers Flee Junta Raids in Upper Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 18 January 2022

Hundreds of residents from at least 20 villages in Magwe Region’s Myaing Township have been forced from their homes by recent junta raids.

Five columns of junta troops, each one comprising around 100 soldiers, have been raiding villages in Myaing since January 10, according to local resistance groups.

“They have been conducting large-scale military operations in Myaing. We haven’t been able to fight them as they outnumber us and we lack weapons that can match theirs,” said a local resistance fighter.

Myaing’s People’s Defense Force (PDF) has clashed three times with the military regime troops since the raids began, but has had to withdraw in all those battles when junta forces employed heavy weapons.

The junta raids are retaliation for recent PDF attacks on military convoys in Myaing. The attacks have seriously disrupted the regime’s ability to provide logistical support to its forces in Pale, Yinmabin, Monywa and other townships in Magwe and Sagaing regions.

Junta soldiers have killed civilians and torched houses during their raids, as well as torturing villagers while interrogating them about the whereabouts of resistance group leaders, said locals.

Three burned bodies were found after junta troops raided Let Yet Ma Village on January 11, and locals are still identifying them, said a resident.

Burned bodies found in Let Yet Ma Village. (Photo: CJ)

“We are bound to be tortured if we get arrested by them. They have no brains and no humanity. They will torture anyone they arrest,” said one local resident.

Regime troops raided Thadut Village in Myaing last Saturday, and torched over 20 houses the following day.

Myaing is located in the northwest of Magwe and borders Pale, Salingyi and Yinmabin townships in Sagaing Region, where fierce clashes between regime forces and resistance groups are ongoing.

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