Junta launches simultaneous air and ground attacks in northern Sagaing

One person was killed in a recent military airstrike in which four aircraft were deployed to upper Sagaing Region’s Kawlin Township, according to an officer for a local anti-junta defence team. 

On January 27, two Mi-17 helicopters dropped some 60 Myanmar army troops near the 100-household village of Kokko Kone, 18 miles southeast of Kawlin town on the highway connecting Mandalay with Myitkyina in Kachin State. 

Two fighter jets then proceeded to open fire on the area, clearing the way for a ground assault by the incoming troops, who carried out a raid on the community. 

It was not known why the village was targeted. 

A person in their 30s, whose name, gender and exact age were not confirmed at the time of reporting, was fatally shot during the attack and died at the scene. 

The victim had been assigned female at birth but “lived as a man,” a resistance force officer told Myanmar Now, adding that the individual was “shot in the head when the aircraft opened fire.”

A 40-year-old man from Kokko Kone who was also a member of Kawlin Township’s People’s Defence Team was injured while trying to flee the assault on his motorcycle, the officer added. 

Ten homes in the village were destroyed in the raid, which lasted for two days, until the occupying troops departed on Sunday and then attacked the nearby community of Kyauk Tan.

More than 3,500 people from Kokko Kone and the surrounding area were displaced by the airstrike and occupation, which occurred while 50 troops from Light Infantry Battalion 363 assaulted the village of Taung Boe Hla, four miles away. 

Resistance forces in Kawlin and the neighbouring townships of Wuntho, Indaw, Katha and Htigyaing have been engaged in regular clashes against the junta in northern Sagaing. 

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