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More than 100 homes destroyed in second junta attack on Gangaw Township village

The military raided and torched San Myo village in Magway Region’s Gangaw Township on Tuesday, destroying more than 100 homes in the second attack on the community in less than one month, locals said. 

Two junta columns began targeting the village at around 1pm, according to Nway Oo, an officer in a local anti-coup defence force. The troops involved—around 100 personnel, including members of the pro-military Pyu Saw Htee network—had been occupying the nearby villages of Kyauk Pyoke and Myauk Khin Yan before clashing with the resistance a half mile north of San Myo. 

“The local defence force tried to defend against the columns but eventually had to retreat due to the difference in firepower. The military then started torching the village,” Nway Oo told Myanmar Now.  

He said that the Myanmar army soldiers also fired heavy artillery at the resistance fighters, and that some of the shells landed in San Myo. 

Less than 40 homes in the village of 210 households were left undamaged following the attack, a local said. 

“Over 100 houses were lost [this time],” a local man said on Wednesday, unsure of the exact number of homes that were destroyed, since residents were forced to flee when the troops arrived. 

He confirmed to Myanmar Now that the junta had fired shells, rifles, and thrown handmade explosives, such as molotov cocktails, into the village, and that two villagers were injured. 

“They also threatened the head monk of the village, saying that they would burn the monastery down if the villagers did not support the military,” the local man said. 

“A similar thing happened not too long ago, so just over 30 houses have been left unburned now. The fire had not gone out yet until this morning,” he added, referring to the previous military assault on San Myo on December 21, when junta forces burnt more than 30 homes and shops to the ground while looting others. 

Defence force member Nway Oo said that the soldiers and Pyu Saw Htee members responsible for Tuesday’s attack had also carried out an air raid on Hnan Khar village on December 17. 

He added that more than 10,000 people had been displaced due to the military’s airstrikes and raids on villages in the region.

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