Myanmar military carries out systematic arson attacks on Yesagyo villages

Residents of Yesagyo Township in Magway Region say that junta soldiers carried out a series of coordinated arson attacks on three villages in the area on Tuesday.

The attacks, by a column of around 100 troops that had arrived from neighbouring Myaung Township in Sagaing Region the day before, systematically targeted the villages, locals said.

The regime forces reportedly spent the night at the village of Phyone Phu on Monday before splitting up into three groups the following morning.

One group stayed in Phyone Phyu, while the other two went to the nearby villages of Miphayar and Mekone. Fires were then set in all three villages, residents told Myanmar Now.

“They were initially stationed in Phyone Phu, and then they divided their column into three groups. One stayed behind in Phyone Phu, while the other two went to torch the other villages,” said a Yesagyo local who asked to remain anonymous.

All three villages are located near the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers. Bhone Taw Pyae, another village in the area, was also reportedly targeted later that day.

Each of the affected villages had around 150-200 households. The number of houses that were destroyed could not be confirmed because all of their residents had fled.

Phyone Phu and Miphayar were both targeted in April as well, residents said.

None of the 48 villages in the confluence are under the direct control of the regime, because all junta-appointed administrators in the area have resigned, according to local sources.

“The column started raiding villages in the northern part of the confluence area and then moved south. So it looks like they’re going to raid the whole area,” said a Yesagyo local.

This is the third time since February that residents of the area have had to flee their homes. 

“Each time they disperse and then come back when the junta troops leave,” a resident of the area said.

According to a statement released by the anti-regime Yesagyo Township People’s Administration team, houses were burned down in six villages in early April, and at least four civilians were killed.

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