Military arrests 16 locals in dawn raid on Myaing Township village

Fifteen villagers were beaten and arrested by Myanmar army troops during a raid on a village in Magway Region’s Myaing Township on Wednesday morning, eyewitnesses said. 

Residents of Padaingdaw village, in southern Myaing, Pakokku District, fled their homes before dawn as around 30 soldiers arrived to carry out a raid at 5am. 

Some of those running away encountered the military and were arrested, according to one escaped villager, who said that the troops assumed that local anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) members were based in Padaingdaw. 

“The soldiers yelled about things like how they were victorious in Pauk Township [also in Pakokku District] and that we shouldn’t underestimate them,” he added.

Among those arrested was a mother and her three-year-old boy, and two elderly villagers. 

“They started beating the youth they had arrested when their phones rang repeatedly. Then they entered the village and torched a hut at the edge,” he said.

After the junta troops occupied Padaingdaw’s monastery and stationed themselves there, another villager said that they searched the village house by house looking for PDF members and evidence that they had stayed there. 

“I don’t know if their informants told them anything about the PDF, but they clearly were looking for them in our village,” the villager explained. 

The first local said that the military had been searching the village of Thargaung, north of Padaingdaw for up to three days before arriving on Wednesday.

The troops left Padaingdaw at around 4pm the same day. 

“They ransacked every house in the northern part of the village and took all the money they could find. One household lost 500,000 kyat to them and another one lost 300,000 kyat, and several more houses lost 20,000 to 30,000 kyats each,” he said, describing sums ranging from US$11 to $280. 

Of the 16 villagers arrested on Wednesday, only one man was reportedly released.

Padaingdaw’s population of around 700 households had not returned to their homes at the time of reporting, concerned that the junta troops would be back. 

Myanmar Now tried to contact the junta’s information officer Gen Zaw Min Tun to respond to the allegations made by the Padaingdaw locals, but the calls went unanswered.  

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