Four burned bodies found in Yaw region village after three-day junta occupation

Resistance forces in Magway Region’s Htilin Township say they discovered the charred remains of four people in a village that had been occupied by junta troops for three days last week.

The bodies were found on Thursday in an undesignated village located just west of the town of Htilin, according to an officer of the Htilin chapter of the Yaw Defence Force (YDF).

The village had been under the control of around 100 junta soldiers and members of the pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia until then, the officer said.

“We found the bodies in a burned-out house after the junta column left. All four had their hands tied behind their backs and were burned beyond recognition,” he said, adding that this was the third time that the village had come under attack.

The column in question, which included troops from Infantry Battalion 50, based in Magway’s Gangaw Township, began targeting villages in Htilin Township in mid-September, local sources told Myanmar Now.

Six male residents of the village, including three teenagers, had been reported missing prior to the discovery of the bodies. At least some are believed to have been among the victims found on Thursday.

The missing villagers were identified as Aung Phyo Ko, 14, Nyo Min, 17, Hein Htet, 18, Zin Min, 28, Zin Tun, 33, and Maung Aye, 57, according to the records of the Htilin YDF.

The group also said that its members were forced to abandon their efforts to put out fires and sweep for landmines in the village due to the return of the junta soldiers later that day.

The regime forces were accused of burning down at least 50 houses in the area before returning to the town of Htilin on Thursday afternoon. Other villages that came under attack included Anyardaw, Ponna, Tharakha, and Kantha, locals reported.

The YDF officer said that the group had clashed with the junta column twice since last month, and expected to engage in more fighting in the near future.

“I’d say the military situation right now is quite tense. Both the public and the revolutionary groups are unhappy with that junta column and are preparing to get revenge,” he said.

There are estimated to be around 2,000 regime soldiers currently deployed in northern Magway’s Yaw region, which includes Htilin, Gangaw and Saw townships and borders Chin State. 

Besides the YDF, there are also a number of other anti-regime groups, including the People’s Defence Force and local defence teams, active in the area.

The YDF claims that it inflicted heavy casualties on regime forces in a series of guerrilla attacks in July. More recently, the group’s deputy commander-in-chief was reportedly killed in battle.

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