Myanmar’s military carries out air, artillery and arson attacks on Indaw villages

Myanmar’s military used heavy artillery and airstrikes to bombard several villages south of the Sagaing Region town of Indaw during two days of clashes earlier this week, according to resistance sources.

The fighting started after a junta column was intercepted near the villages of Khayan Sat Kone and Hlaing Kone, about 20km south of Indaw, at around 10am on Monday, a spokesperson for the Indaw People’s Defence Force (PDF) told Myanmar Now.

It continued early the next day near the village of Ah Lel Seik, about 12km southwest of Indaw, and lasted until airstrikes began at around 10am, he added.

“A large number of junta soldiers were killed, so they called in the air force for support. They dropped six bombs from the air and then they torched a large number of houses and barns,” the spokesperson said.

Map of Indaw in relation to junta’s administrative capital Naypyitaw and commercial city Yangon

After suffering heavy casualties, the junta troops regrouped in Meza, a village a short distance from Ah Lel Seik, where they were reportedly joined by reinforcements on Wednesday.

Two Indaw PDF fighters were injured during the first day of fighting and three members of the combined force of Indaw PDF and Kachin Independence Army troops were injured on Tuesday, according to the PDF spokesperson.

At least 26 houses and a number of barns—some containing significant quantities of harvested rice—were destroyed in Ah Lel Seik by the regime forces’ arson attacks, he added.

“We don’t know how many barns were burned down, but I heard a large amount of rice was lost in the fires, as well as several shops and the village’s library,” he said.

There were also reports that a number of other villages south of Indaw were hit in recent days by heavy artillery fired by regime forces stationed in the town. 

The affected villages included Nat Ma Hote Gyi, Moe Yu, and Nan Kin, local sources reported.

The military also torched and destroyed 16 houses in the village of Moe Hlaing Kone on Monday, they added.

Meanwhile, residents of Indaw told Myanmar Now that the town was operating as usual, apart from locals being occasionally stopped and questioned by junta forces.

The junta column that was attacked for two consecutive days contained soldiers from Infantry Battalion 301 and Light Infantry  Battalion 416, both under the command of Light Infantry Division 88.

The same column has also been accused of carrying out a series of raids and arson attacks on villages throughout Indaw and Htigyaing townships since last month.

The bodies of eight local men who were abducted by the column in Nat Ma Hote Gyi on November 27 were exhumed near the village of Kan Ni on Sunday.

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