Regime forces kill eight civilians during raid in southern Sagaing Region

The military captured more than 20 civilians and killed eight last week in a raid on Ah Lel Sho village in Khin-U Township, Sagaing Region, according to local anti-junta forces. 

The villagers failed to escape capture after some 50 junta soldiers arrived in the village at around 5am on December 28, carried by two trucks from Training Camp No. 8 in the city of Shwebo.

“We were all still asleep when the military came and we ran in a panic when they started firing their guns. They chased us for some distance but all of our troops managed to escape,” said Bahu, a member of a local defence team.

Bahu did not disclose the number of local defence team members present in the village during the raid, but said that the group lost several weapons and some ammunition.

Ah Lel Sho is a village of some 1,000 households off the Shwebo-Myitkyina road, north of the Khin-U crossroads. It is located between the junta base in Zee Kone in Kanbalu Township and Training Camp No. 8 in the city of Shwebo.

The defence team could only confirm the deaths of eight victims, despite rumours that the military had arrested more civilians while in the village.

“We first heard that 16 civilians were taken but we couldn’t confirm that number. However, it is now confirmed that eight victims were killed, as their severed heads were placed near the Ah Lel Sho village monastery, with USDP flags on them,” said Bahu.

The Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) is a proxy political party founded by Myanmar’s former military junta. The reasons for using the party’s flags are unknown.

Members of a defence team based in Khin-U Township (Myanmar Now)

The day after the junta force came, an alliance of local defence teams advanced into the village attempting a counterattack and found the local civilians’ bodies on the evening of December 29.

A Telegram channel called Fifty Two News, assumed to be operated by the military council, reported on December 31 that eight bodies were found after the battle, implying that they had died in the fighting.

According to a local defence team based in Khin-U Township, the military was planning to turn Ah Lel Sho village into a base for pro-junta Pyu Saw Htee militias. Pyu Saw Htee militias were also reportedly fighting alongside the military and set up their base inside the village’s school and monastery.

Anti-junta forces attacked the village again on December 31 and January 1, the local defence team reported. The battle on January 1 lasted nearly five hours, with resistance forces advancing from two different directions.

The local defence team claims to have rescued 19 civilians and five monks from the village at around 9am that day.

Map of Khin-U Township

Citing residents who had escaped on December 31, the township’s People’s Defence Team (PDT) stated that while they were stationed in the village, regime soldiers threatened to “kill anyone that supports the revolution and torch their houses.”

The military started torching houses in the village on January 1 and cremated the bodies of junta and Pyu Saw Htee troops at around 8am on January 2, according to the defence team.

In the aftermath of the clashes in Ah Lel Sho, fighting continued in the area.

Defence teams ambushed a 12-wheel military truck traveling from Training Camp No. 8 in Shwebo on the morning of January 2, according to Mhan Gyi, a member of the Khin-U Township PDT.

“We attacked them with explosive devices, as the training camp in Shwebo was sending 30 more troops as reinforcements,” he said.

Related Articles

Back to top button