Man dies in junta arson attack on Magway village near Chin border

A man was burned to death when regime forces set fire to a village in Magway Region’s Saw Township on Wednesday, according to local resistance sources.

The attack on Yint Ye, a village about 10km south of the town of Kyaukhtu and less than 8km from the Chin State border, was carried out by around 20 soldiers from a junta artillery unit stationed nearby, the sources said.

According to the leader of the local anti-regime People’s Administration Team, no other casualties were reported because there were only a handful of people staying in the village at the time of the incident.

“Most had fled due to previous raids. Only a few people who were strong enough to run away quickly were still living there. The deceased had just returned briefly, but had health problems and couldn’t get away in time,” he said, adding that 27 homes were destroyed in the attack.

The junta forces responsible for the assault retreated after coming under fire from local resistance fighters, according to the People’s Administration Team leader.

“We were able to put out some of the fires after their retreat. Otherwise, the damage would have been much worse,” he said.

Resistance forces active in the area say the attack was unprovoked.

“I don’t know why they set fire to the village. There was no fighting going on. There have been some clashes west of here, but nothing nearby,” said a member of a local defence team.

The fighting he was referring to is taking place in Mindat, a major town in southern Chin State about 22km west of Yint Ye.

The area around Kyaukhtu has been an important battle zone since the military seized power more than two years ago, as it links central Myanmar to mountainous Chin State, where resistance to the coup has been fierce.

A map shows where Yint Ye, in Magway Region’s Saw Township, is located

On May 26, a coalition of Chin fighters and members of resistance groups under the command of the shadow National Unity Government ambushed a junta column of around 100 troops as it marched from Kyaukhtu to Mindat.

A number of clashes took place near the Chin-Magway border over the next several days, reportedly resulting in heavy casualties on both sides. However, details were not available at the time of reporting.

In February, the regime declared martial law in Magway’s Saw, Gangaw, and Htilin townships, which together are known as the Yaw region.

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