Junta troops raid Ayeyarwady Region villages in search of PDF fighters 

Activists in villages near the Rakhine mountains in Ayeyarwady Region have been forced to flee amid raids by junta troops targeting members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) and those helping them.  

Hundreds of junta soldiers stationed themselves at the monastery in Thayatkone village in Myan Aung Township last week and have been detaining people in the area ever since, locals told Myanmar Now. 

Around 60 soldiers raided Nghat Gyi Kwin, about three miles from Thayatkone, on Thursday at around 8pm. They detained a 30-year-old man named Tun Tun after accusing him of making landmines.

“I think the informants snitched on him,” a Nghat Gyi Kwin resident told Myanmar Now. “The military came into the village saying there were PDFs hiding in here. They came last month as well.” 

Soldiers previously arrested six residents in the village who they said were PDF fighters, the resident added. 

“There are over 20 villages in the Nghat Gyi Kwin tract. Many of the activists here were displaced thanks to those military informants. Those who actively participated in the protests don’t dare to live here anymore. They had to move somewhere else,” he said.

On July 16, a military helicopter flew over the village, he added. “It’d been hovering around all morning. They say they were looking for a PDF training base at the base of the Rakhine mountains.”

The helicopter also flew over a mountain, 16 miles northwest of Nghat Gyi Kwin, said a resident of a nearby village. 

“There were rumors last week that the PDF youths would be stationed at the mountain. It wasn’t actually the PDF stationed there. It was kids facing various charges who were in hiding. The informants saw them and snitched on them,” he said.

The military said in a statement that on June 12 soldiers searched a forest near Ban Bwegon village in Myan Aung and arrested six PDF fighters and seized their weapons. 

The Nghat Gyi Kwin resident said that the six people were just local workers and not involved with the PDF. 

“They arrested the people they found at a farm, claiming they were PDF. I don’t even know where the guns came from,” he said. “They filed charges against them and took photos of them with the weapons. I wouldn’t be complaining if they were indeed guilty.”

On June 5, three local men were killed after a clash broke out between locals and the military in Hlay Swel village, Kyonpyaw Township. The locals were trying to save another resident who was detained by the soldiers.  

Related Articles

Back to top button