Locals flee as soldiers raid more than 1,000 homes in three Magwe Region villages

Thousands of people fled their homes after the junta’s armed forces conducted raids on three villages in Magwe Region’s Taungdwingyi Township on Monday evening.

The assault on the villages of Pat Lal Gyi, Pyin Chaung and Si Thar– 12 miles from Taungdwingyi town– began on April 9. 

The communities had been holding nightly anti-dictatorship protests, with Pyin Chaung preparing to oppose the appointment of a new area administrator by the military council. 

Troops arrived in Pyin Chaung on Friday morning to search 12 homes belonging to protest leaders, and subsequently arrested three locals. 

While those detained were released later that evening, at the time of reporting, one was still undergoing medical treatment for serious injuries he suffered while in regime custody. 

“They destroyed the homes of protest leaders. Kitchens, water pumps, pots and pans, everything. They destroyed crops, and rice and sesame seeds as well. Nothing was salvageable,” a local said of the soldiers. 

On the evening of April 12, the armed forces entered the three villages and opened fire with their guns to intimidate locals. They then proceeded to raid the communities’ homes.

The villages’ more than 3,000 residents fled, including the elderly and a woman who had just given birth, and have been struggling to secure adequate food and shelter since being displaced.

“No one dares to stay in the village. Everyone is on the run. There’s no one left,” a villager from Pat Lal Gyi told Myanmar Now. “A home was burnt to ashes today. We’ve just been watching from a hill that overlooks the village,” the villager added.

There are around 1,300 homes in the three villages that were raided.

Military assaults on town wards and rural villages have become an increasingly common feature of the regime’s crackdown on the widespread public anti-dictatorship movement, in addition to the continued arrest and murder of protesters nationwide. 


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