Junta soldiers torch, loot hundreds of homes in prominent Sagaing Region village

More than 500 homes were destroyed in a major arson assault this week by junta soldiers and members of an allied Pyu Saw Htee militia occupying Pa Du village in Sagaing Township, located in the region by the same name. 

The militia members and the troops—from Light Infantry Division (LID) 33—began setting fire to residences on Monday, and continued the act two days later, targeting houses that were still intact after the initial blaze. 

The exact number of homes lost was not confirmed at the time of reporting, according to a local anti-junta defence team active in the area, the People Servant Force. A representative of the group added that the Myanmar army soldiers and militia members looted the buildings before burning them. 

“Pa Du is quite a wealthy village and there were many big, strong brick houses,” the deputy commander of People Servant Force, Yoe Yar, said. 

It is home to seven wards and 1,000 households.

Local resistance forces intercepted the Sagaing-based LID 33 as they targeted villages 10 miles west of the township’s administrative centre on May 19, including Pa Du, resulting in four days of severe clashes. 

Fighter jets attacked the area and on-ground reinforcements were also sent when guerrilla forces attacked Pa Du’s police station on Monday morning.

A resident of the village said that its whole population had to “flee for their lives” when the military began its raid that day, placing the “entire village under siege.” 

“Some people don’t even have enough food to eat, let alone a place to live. Some were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs,” the resident said. “Some still had food at home but couldn’t retrieve it and had to leave it behind because there was no warning of the attack.”

For nearly a week, Pa Du’s residents have been seeking refuge in other neighbouring villages.

Communities in Sagaing Township, located west of Mandalay Region, are frequently targeted in Myanmar military assaults due to the area’s establishment as a resistance stronghold. 

According to the monitoring group Data for Myanmar, as of late February, a total of 60,459 civilian houses, most of which were located in Sagaing and Magway regions and Chin State, had been destroyed by the junta’s forces since the coup more than two years ago. 

Related Articles

Back to top button