Junta troops kill villager, torture monk in Sagaing’s Taze Township

Regime forces killed one civilian and tortured a monk and several other hostages in a village in Sagaing Region’s Taze Township over the weekend, local resistance sources reported.

Phoe Phyu, 26, was captured by the military on Sunday and killed the next day just outside of Chaung-U, a village about 10km northwest of the town of Taze, according to the spokesperson for a local defence team.

“He was living in a hut on a farm. The junta troops came in plain clothes, so he thought they were members of the local defence team. When they told him to go with them, he did. They took him to Chaung-U, where they shot him dead near the entrance to the village,” the spokesperson said.

In Chaung-U, the military captured 11 villagers, including a monk, and held them hostage overnight, he added, citing local residents.

While they were being held captive, the hostages were beaten with their hands tied behind their backs and subjected to other forms of torture, according to the spokesperson. 

The 25-year-old monk, who was not identified by name, was singled out for the worst treatment, he said.

“He was just walking in the village with his alms bowl when they arrested him. They accused him of sending supplies to the resistance. They cut his ears and his knee. I heard he even passed out,” said the spokesperson.

The soldiers released the hostages when they left the village the next day, he added.

From Chaung-U, the soldiers travelled some 5km southwest to the village of Khayan Chan, where they opened fire with light and heavy weapons.

According to another local defence team member, the loud explosions caused a 72-year-old woman to have a fatal heart attack.

“They fired heavy artillery as they entered the village and the old woman died of a heart attack because of the noise. Her family hasn’t been able to hold a funeral for her because they had to leave her body behind when they fled, and the soldiers are still there,” he said.

Local defence forces say the troops now stationed in Khayan Chan have also sent teams of soldiers to take control of the nearby villages of Pae Khin Gyi and Thapyay Yin.

According to a statement released by the Taze Township People’s Defence Team, the junta column responsible for the recent attacks belongs to Light Infantry Battalion 368, under the supervision of Light Infantry Division 33.

Residents of 15 villages have been displaced by the attacks, the statement added.

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