PDF denies responsibility as another family, including a 5-year-old, is shot dead in Taze  

Attackers in Sagaing Region killed a suspected leader of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee group on Wednesday along with four of his family members, including a young child, local residents said.

Ye Myint, 50, who reportedly had ties to local police, was shot dead at his home in Kyeekone village, Taze Township, at around 9pm. His wife, son, daughter, and 5-year-old grandchild were also killed. 

Junta soldiers responded to the attack by raiding the village and setting fire to 11 houses the following day. The blaze spread to surrounding fields and destroyed villagers’ crops. 

Residents had already fled the previous evening after hearing gunshots from Ye Myint’s house and anticipating the military’s arrival. 

It is the second time unknown attackers have killed an entire family in Taze in recent days following allegations that some of its members collaborated with the junta’s forces. 

On Sunday a 12-year-old boy was among a family of five killed in Kar Paung Kyar village. His father, San Win, had been accused of helping soldiers during a deadly raid on the village and was also among those killed. 

The Taze People’s Defence Force (PDF) has denied responsibility for both attacks. A spokesperson said PDF fighters would have been unable to travel to Kyeekone because they are stationed far away from urban areas that are heavily patrolled by junta troops.

“It couldn’t have been the PDF,” a spokesperson said of the Kyeekone killings. “The house is close to the town… therefore, it’s quite impossible for them to come here. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the PDF. We still haven’t found out who was responsible.” 

Residents of Kyeekone, which sits seven miles to the southwest of the town of Taze, depend largely on rice farming for their livelihoods. After soldiers raided the village on Thursday, photos of homes burned to ashes circulated on social media. 

“The military arrived in the village at around 9:30 to 10am and started torching the nearby houses,” said a Kyeekone resident. “Eleven houses caught fire. The majority of our villagers are farmers and we lost many paddy fields. The villagers don’t dare to stay in the village anymore.”

Police officers in Taze did not answer calls seeking comment on the killings and arson in Kyeekone. 

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