Regime forces attacked with drones after decapitating teacher

A resistance group says that it used drones to launch two attacks on a junta column that decapitated a teacher and killed two others in Magway Region’s Pauk Township earlier this week.

In a statement released on Thursday, the Anonymous Special Task Force said that it dropped three explosives on around 80 troops stationed on a hill near Hpayar Taung, a village located about 15km southeast of the town of Pauk, the day before.

An officer of the group also claimed that a second attack was carried out against a junta base in Yae Pyar, a village about 2km south of Hpayar Taung, later the same day.

“We weren’t sure how many casualties there were from the first attack, so we decided to go after the base in Yae Pyar as well,” he told Myanmar Now.

The troops stationed near Hpayar Taung have reportedly been raiding villages in southern Pauk Township since October 12. On Monday, they targeted the village of Kyar Pyit Kan, where they abducted three men, including a teacher taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

Hpayar Taung, where junta troops were attacked on October 19 after beheading CDM teacher Saw Moe Tun (Pyae Phyo Aung)

According to locals, the teacher, 46-year-old Saw Moe Tun, taught mathematics at a school run by the National Unity Government (NUG) and was also on its township education committee.

“They captured him and took him to Taung Myint, another village near here. That’s where they killed him, right in front of the school. They cut three fingers off of his right hand and also beheaded him. They hung his head at the entrance to the school,” said a local who did not want to be named.

Another person living in the area confirmed this report, and said that the soldiers also set fire to the school.

A photo of the victim’s head hanging from a school door, with his headless body lying nearby on the ground, has circulated widely on social media.

The other two men, who have yet to be identified, were also killed, local sources said.

According to local groups, around 8,000 civilians from some 13 villages have been displaced by the recent junta raids in Pauk Township.

Last Thursday, a day after the attacks began, soldiers burned down the entire village of Thee Chauk, the Anonymous Special Task Force officer told Myanmar Now.

The village, which is about 20km west of Hpayar Taung, where the junta troops were stationed, had around 250 households, he said. Before setting fire to most of the houses there, the regime forces shelled and ransacked the village, he added.

On Tuesday, the Basic Education General Strike Committee and Basic Education Workers Union-Strike Committee released statements strongly condemning the military’s brutal killing of Saw Moe Tun.

Both groups also noted that on the same day that Saw Moe Tun was murdered, Ye Thiha, a middle school headmaster who was also taking part in the CDM, was fatally stabbed seven times at his home in Ayeyarwady Region’s Zalun Township.

The groups called on the public, as well as the NUG, to protect teachers and others taking part in the CDM.

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