Junta column continues rampage through Yesagyo Township

A military column of around 100 junta troops that began attacking villages in southern Sagaing Region’s Yesagyo Township last week is still targeting the area, local sources said.

The soldiers, who arrived from neighbouring Myaung Township last Monday, have expanded their operations over the past week, according to residents.

On Monday, the regime’s forces torched houses in at least four villages—Moe Kwal, Kan-U, Taung Kone, and Mekone—in the northern part of an area defined by the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers.

“They started fires in three separate places in my village. My house was reduced to ashes. I lost so much. We could only save a day’s worth of rice that we kept for emergencies. The rest went up in flames,” one local woman told Myanmar Now.

“They didn’t just set everything on fire, they also destroyed water pumps and anything else that could be used to put out the flames,” said the woman, who did not want to be named.

“Their thirst for blood and power is very horrible. They’re destroying people’s homes out of sheer malice,” she added.

On Tuesday, the column, which is currently stationed in the village of Miphayar, moved on to two other villages after splitting up into three groups, according to resistance sources.

“They burned down more houses in Kywe Kone and Kyauk Phu—a lot were lost in Kywe Kone, but we’re not sure how many yet,” said Shar Lu, a member of one of several anti-regime groups active in the area.

Residents who have fled the attacks say they still don’t feel safe returning to their villages even after the troops have left.

“We won’t go back yet, even though the weather is terrible,” said one woman sheltering in a wooded area with 12 other members of her family, including children and elderly people.

According to figures compiled by local resistance groups, at least 145 houses have been destroyed in a total of 17 villages in Yesagyo over the past 10 days.

The groups say they killed several soldiers in clashes that broke out last Wednesday and Thursday. Two members of groups belonging to an alliance of resistance forces also died in action, they said.

Fighting has been reported across a wide swathe of southern Sagaing Region in recent weeks, as the junta steps up its efforts to wipe out the dozens of anti-regime groups that have emerged there since the military seized power more than a year ago.

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