Myanmar army troops burn dozens of homes across four Sagaing villages

Nearly 80 homes were torched by junta soldiers in four villages in Sagaing Region’s Taze Township in the first two weeks of February, according to local sources. 

A junta column of around 150 troops is believed to be responsible for first burning 20 houses in Pu Tee village and four in Pay Chaung, then 15 in Khayu Taw and 39 in Kar Paung Kya, according to an officer from the anti-junta Taze People’s Defence Force (PDF).

The soldiers reportedly arrived in Kar Paung Kya on February 11 and remained in the village until Monday, a local man said. 

The community, which once had 3,000 residents from 700 households, has been raided by the military a total of 13 times since the coup in February last year. Nearly the entire population of Kar Paung Kya had fled by the time of the most recent occupation. 

“We left our village three months ago. Even when the soldiers would leave, we would only go back to the village to pick up our things and return to the forests where we have been staying,”  the local from Kar Paung Kya told Myanmar Now.

As the troops left Kar Paung Kya on Monday, the Taze PDF officer said that the junta’s forces suffered a number of casualties caused by explosives planted by the resistance. Myanmar Now was unable to verify the claim. 

Throughout the whole of Taze Township, the military has burnt down more than 120 homes over the last year, and damaged around 220, according to the PDF. 

The Myanmar army has been focusing its attacks on villages where it has concluded that resistance forces are concentrated, the Kar Paung Kya local said, even though the population of the villages in question are largely civilians. 

“It’s nothing new for us anymore. They also torched the houses in Khayu Taw village,” he said. “They’ve stolen everything left in our village. We have abandoned our village so it doesn’t make a difference whose house they torch. We are just working on taking down [the dictatorship].”  

The military has been known to employ airstrikes in its attacks on villages in Sagaing and Magway regions. 

No junta spokesperson answered Myanmar Now’s calls to comment on the allegations against their troops in northwestern Myanmar. 

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