Four people were killed and nearly an entire village destroyed in a junta attack in Sagaing Region’s Yinmabin Township this week.
The civilians’ bodies were found in the community of Kone, 8km west of the township’s administrative centre, on Wednesday morning, locals said. They identified them as San Lin and Aye Lwin, both 50, fatally shot near the village’s monastery. Tin Tin Oo, whose age was not known, appeared to have burned to death in his home.
“They couldn’t run due to their health conditions. That’s why they were left behind,” a Kone resident told Myanmar Now, adding that the individuals in question had disabilities. “They didn’t think the military would actually kill them, because they only looted houses during the first raid [one day earlier].”
The three victims were cremated in the village later that day.
Another body was found just west of Kone, and identified as a 30-year-old resident of neighbouring In Taw who had been taken hostage by the 100-troop junta column in question. Locals from the village retrieved his body.
The military first torched Kone on Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday morning, cumulatively destroying more than 500 out of 600 households, as well as stores of rice and chickpeas. The arson attacks continued until local resistance forces launched an early-morning assault from the south and east.
At around 11am the junta sent in air support for the troops trapped by the anti-junta forces, rescuing them by helicopter, according to a member of one of the guerrilla groups that clashed with the regime forces.
Most of Kone’s residents managed to escape when the helicopters arrived.
“The villagers couldn’t bring anything with them and they haven’t been able to resettle back in the village. Everyone is panicking whenever they hear helicopters,” the Kone local said.
The junta column was again intercepted by a local resistance alliance after leaving Kone on Wednesday to return to Yinmabin town, resulting in an hour-long battle in the area in which the military also launched airstrikes.
No statement has been released by the military council acknowledging the death of the civilians in Kone.
Yinmabin was one of 37 townships nationwide that the junta placed under martial law in early February.