One civilian killed, village destroyed in repeated Myanmar military raids in upper Sagaing

A junta force raiding villages in Sagaing Region’s Mingin Township reportedly killed a local man on Tuesday amid the assaults on the area, known as Taung Dwin Chaung.

That day, the unit of Myanmar army soldiers and allied Pyu Saw Htee militia members who had been occupying the village of Kyaw targeted Kone Maw, more than one mile away. There, they torched nearly 30 homes and murdered 55-year-old Htay Lin, who had an intellectual disability, according to members of a local anti-junta defence team. 

The troops went on to burn 14 more buildings in Kyauk Maw village, one-quarter mile from Kone Maw, including a structure within a primary school compound, the Tawng Dwin People’s Defence Force-Mingin (TDPDF) spokesperson said. 

Myint Myat Thu, the group’s information officer, told Myanmar Now that the military column first shot heavy artillery at the community and also looted a number of homes. 

“Twelve of the 14 houses in question were reduced to ashes. They then ransacked the village and took everything that was valuable,” he said.

The TDPDF attacked the raiding column with heavy and light weapons at around 2:30pm. 

Kone Maw, which once had 100 households, had already been attacked by the junta in June, at which time several homes were torched. The second arson assault on Tuesday resulted in the village being almost completely destroyed, according to locals. 

For nearly one year, junta forces have been raiding the Taung Dwin Chaung region, an area of Mingin home to more than 35 villages. During that time, some 30 troops have been consistently present in Kyaw, which has become a base from which the soldiers provide combat training and arms to villagers who joined their militias. 

“They also raided nearby villages, stole motorcycles and sold them for money and killed the cows and pigs for food,” the TDPDF’s Myint Myat Thu said. “They also seized rice and oil from the civilians, as well as other property. Five cows were taken just recently—while four of them were released, they kept one.”

The TDPDF has said that it remains outgunned by the military, and at the time of reporting, claimed to be in possession of one assault rifle, a number of daggers, and handmade muskets and mortars. 

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