Thousands of residents from six villages in Pakokku Township, Magwe Region, fled their homes on Friday as Myanmar’s regime forces raided and burned down two villages without being attacked.
The arson attacks came after a junta sergeant was seized by a resistance force.
Around 70 regime troops and Pyu Saw Htee pro-regime militia members raided Saiphyu and Shardu villages in the southwest of the township on Thursday and Friday and burned houses, according to residents.
An estimated 2,000 residents from six villages have fled their homes for the forests and other villages.
Almost 100 out of Shardu’s 187 houses were burned down and then troops torched houses in Saiphyu village, according to Pakokku People’s Defense Force (PDF).
The exact damage is unknown as regime forces were still deployed in the village on Friday evening.
Ko Panda of Pakokku PDF told The Irrawaddy on Friday that another 100 troops are standing by in reserve to fight off resistance ambushes.
In June, three villages in the area were burned down by regime forces.
“They are afraid of confronting the PDFs so they frighten civilians out of supplying the PDFs by torching their homes,” said Ko Panda.
On Thursday, regime forces also burned down Hmawet Tone and Minywar villages in Pale Township, Sagaing Region, after a resistance attack, according to media reports.
Two male villagers in their 70s were reportedly found dead in burned houses and many civilians have been detained by the regime forces, while they were trapped in a monastery, according to news reports.
Amid daily attacks from PDFs and ethnic armed organizations, junta forces are committing atrocities, arbitrary arrests, killing civilians, carrying out torture, burning alive and using civilians as human shields, arial bombardment and shelling of residential areas and looting and burning houses, especially in Chin, Kachin, Shan, Kayah, Mon and Karen states and Magwe, Mandalay and Sagaing regions.