Local PDF leader killed and house burnt during military raid on two Sagaing villages 

Soldiers killed the leader of a local People’s Defence Force (PDF) chapter in Sagaing Region on Monday, shooting him and running him over with a vehicle during a raid on two villages where residents have resisted the junta. 

Myint Kyaw Moe, 30, was killed after around 200 troops and plainclothes personnel arrived at the neighbouring villages of Monyway and Kyaymon, at the southern entrance to the township of Monywa, early in the morning and began firing machine guns and heavy weaponry. 

“A person was shot in the head and got crushed by a military FAW vehicle,” a resident told Myanmar Now, referring to a Chinese-made brand of automobile.

The raid started at around 5am and finished at midday, witnesses and a PDF leader said. 

Myint Kyaw Moe led a small group of PDF fighters from the village of Tawpu, which is about half a kilometer west of Kyaymon, a PDF leader from Monyway told Myanmar Now. 

The fighters from Tawpu had been hiding from junta troops in surrounding villages after being exposed by informants, he said, adding that Myint Kyaw Moe put himself in harm’s way during the raid in a bid to give his comrades a chance to escape.

“He gave his life here to protect his comrades,” he said. “They’re quite a small group. It’s basically a self-defence group. He was covering for the other young PDF members when they were surrounded; he ran to the front to protect them.” 

About 10 people from Kyaymon and Tawpu, including some of those Myint Kyaw Moe covered for, were beaten and interrogated at a local monastery before being taken away on a military truck, he said. 

Monyway PDF fighters were able to retrieve Myint Kyaw Moe’s body, he added, but declined to give further details. 

It is unclear if there were other casualties during the raid, but there were reports that junta soldiers fired guns constantly. “We only had muskets and I didn’t hear any musket noise that morning,” said the Monyway PDF leader.

Soldiers ransacked homes and burned down a house in Kyaymon where Myint Kyaw Moe was believed to have been staying, a Monyway villager said. 

“They had the village surrounded before they started shooting. We had to go into hiding the entire time. There were also Pyu Saw Htee members there,” he said, referring to a collective of military supporters who have threatened and attacked anti-junta targets.    

Another local said that she heard machine gun fire all morning until 7am and that soldiers hunted for escapees in the surrounding forest.

“The noise from the weapons was so loud that it shook houses,” she said. “An informant told the military that there were PDFs in the village, so they just ransacked every house. They threatened the villagers by saying they would shoot if they did not open their doors.”

Near daily protests against the coup regime have continued in Monyway and Kyaymon villages despite deadly crackdowns and mass arrests across the country aimed at stamping out the demonstrations. 

Soldiers last raided Monyway and Kyaymon on September 8, killing one man and injuring others. 

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