Resistance fighters forced to retreat again as regime soldiers overrun Sagaing village
Myanmar military soldiers have overrun a village in Sagaing Region where resistance fighters were taking shelter after their stronghold in the nearby town of Chaung-U was crushed earlier this month.
The fighters were forced to once again retreat when hundreds of soldiers attacked Methekyo village with guns and rocket launchers on Thursday morning.
Villagers from Methekyo, which is two miles from Chaung-U and sits on the eastern side of the Chindwin river, had been helping the resistance fighters.
“The villagers allowed us to take shelter there and have been feeding us,” said a leader of the resistance force, speaking on condition of anonymity.
About 20 military trucks and four vans carrying at least 300 soldiers besieged Methekyo at around 4am, he said.
Members of the resistance force, mostly armed with hunting rifles, moved residents out of the village and then began trying to hold off the advancing soldiers.
“We evacuated the villagers when we saw that the forces on each side were not evenly matched,” the resistance fighter said.
He asked Myanmar Now not to disclose the size of the Chaung-U resistance force due to security concerns.
The clash lasted around half an hour. After the coup regime’s forces fired about six rounds from their rocket launchers, all the resistance fighters had to retreat. One young fighter was arrested.
“While we were retreating, a boy fell down and was left behind,” the resistance leader said. “The soldiers tied his hands with rope behind his back and beat him.” At least six regime soldiers were wounded in the clash, he added.
“The soldiers took all of our food supplies donated by the public and the weapons, including gunpowder, that we used to protect our town,” he said.
They also set fire to some houses, motorbikes and a building inside the village monastery while ransacking homes.
“They were smashing things as if we were ogres,” the resistance leader said.
A local rescue worker based in Monywa, about 25km from Chaung-U, said he and his team helped six resistance fighters who were shot in the arms or legs during the clash.
“There have been no people killed as far as we know. But we could not go inside the village,” he told Myanmar Now. “We stayed at a place where we could take wounded people out safely,” he told Myanmar Now.
On Wednesday afternoon, at least ten trucks carrying hundreds of soldiers drove to Monywa, he said, citing eyewitnesses. About eight military trucks and four vans of soldiers remained at Methekyo village, he added.
Soldiers were also stationed at villages neighbouring Methekyo and Chaung-U, according to locals in Monywa.
Regime forces arrested dozens on Wednesday after they overran a resistance stronghold in Mandalay’s Myingyan Township.