Myanmar junta troops torch villages along Magway, Sagaing border

Regime forces carried out arson attacks targeting at least 30 villages along the border of Magway and Sagaing regions over the weekend after coming under attack late last week.

On Thursday, a combined force of three local People’s Defence Force (PDF) groups mounted an assault on a junta checkpoint located near a bridge that crosses the Chindwin River between Magway’s Yesagyo Township and Salingyi Township in Sagaing.

Three soldiers were killed in that attack, according to resistance sources. A police officer was also captured and weapons and ammunition were seized.

In response, a column of around 300 junta troops carried out a series of raids over the weekend on villages in Salingyi, Yesagyo, and Myaing townships, Wai Gyi, the leader of the Yesagyo PDF, told Myanmar Now.

On Friday, around 70 homes were destroyed in Thit Gyi Taw, a village in Yesagyo about 10km west of the Sin Phyu Shin bridge, near where the checkpoint was located.

Later that day, the junta column also attacked the neighbouring village of Darn Pin Kan in Magway’s Myaing Township and detained 13 villagers, according to local sources.

The regime forces then used Darn Pin Kan as their base for further raids on villages to the north, including Ngar Khon and Ngar Ya Taw, near Salingyi Township.

According to Wai Gyi, the villages of Gway Gone, Pyae Wa (Byi Ba) and Shar Taw, all located along the border between Yesagyo and Salingyi, were also attacked.

On Sunday, he said that homes were also set on fire in another village, Lin Sa Kyat.

“They torched Lin Sa Kyat today and it’s still burning till now,” he said.

A member of the Salingyi Township PDF said that at least four houses were destroyed in a raid on Ngwe Thar, a village located about 8km north of Lin Sa Kyat.

According to local sources, thousands of people from at least 30 villages located along the western bank of the Chindwin River have been displaced by raids since last week.

Meanwhile, in Mandalay Region’s Myingyan Township, a local PDF group said that it killed four junta soldiers in the village of Yan Ta Po, about 13km east of the town of Yesagyo, on Friday.

The Myingyan PDF said that it used snipers to target soldiers stationed in the village, which is located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwady River.

The junta troops, who were accompanied by members of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia, fired back with heavy artillery for around 30 minutes, but failed to hit any resistance fighters, the group said.

It added that it had also recently begun to cooperate with other local PDF groups in neighbouring Sagaing and Magway regions.

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