Over 1,000 people have fled a village in Magway Region’s Pauk Township after junta forces burnt down two homes there and raided or destroyed several others on Saturday when the administrator of a neighbouring village was killed, anti-regime guerilla fighters have said.
Members of the military-controlled Pyu Saw Htee group helped soldiers torch the houses in Wun Chone during a rampage through the village, a spokesperson for the guerilla group told Myanmar Now.
“They rampaged through the village and destroyed many shops as well as motorbikes,” he said, referring to testimony from five witnesses. “Many villagers have already fled, fearing they might come back.” Some fled to nearby woodlands while others sought refuge in surrounding villages.
There is a group of soldiers stationed at Pin Taung village, which sits two miles northeast of Wun Chone. The military arrived in Wun Chone immediately after the administrator of Pin Taung was assassinated at around 7am.
The soldiers clashed with guerilla fighters near Wun Chone before beginning their rampage. The guerillas’ spokesperson said none of the group’s fighters were killed in the clash and could not confirm if any of the junta’s forces were killed.
He added that the group’s fighters shot and killed Hti Myo, the 30-year-old administrator, because he supported the junta, and had ordered villagers in Pin Taung not to offer assistance to residents of Kinma village when it was burnt down by the junta’s forces in June.
Myanmar Now was unable to corroborate the allegations about the administrator.
A Wun Chone resident said soldiers also destroyed furniture during their rampage: “I went back to check last night. The fires burned the affected houses’ upper floors and sides. The lower floors were intact since they’re made of brick. I took what I needed and came back because there was a risk of running into Pyu Saw Htee there.”
Junta representatives could not be reached for comment.
Last week soldiers raided Thar Aye village in neighbouring Sagaing Region, displacing around 3,000 villagers, after an alleged military informant was shot and killed on July 28.
Around 10,000 civilians have been displaced by military attacks in the Sagaing townships of Kani, Yinmarbin and Depayin since early July, according to local estimates.