Seven PDF fighters killed in Sagaing after soldiers catch them planting explosives  

Seven members of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) were captured and shot to death by junta soldiers in Sagaing Region’s Ye-U Township on Friday after they were caught planting explosives for an ambush. 

The resistance fighters were caught near Ywar Meik Thar village on Friday morning, a leader of their group said. “I just want to say that seven of our comrades were killed,” said the leader.

Four of the fighters were from Ye-U, while two were from the village of Chan Thar, three miles from Ywar Meik Thar, and another was from Inn Pet village, he added.

The day before the fighters were killed, the PDF attacked a column of roughly 40 soldiers with explosives in Chan Thar, killing an estimated seven of them. 

The junta soldiers then spent the night in the village and a second column of soldiers arrived in the area the next day as reinforcements. 

It appears to be this second column that caught the PDF fighters as they planted explosives, which were meant to be detonated as the first column marched towards to Ywar Meik Thar from Chan Thar. 

“It was unexpected,” he told Myanmar Now. “The column ran into them while they were setting up explosive devices for another column. In other words, they got trapped between two junta columns. That’s why our comrades had to die.” 

Two of the PDF fighters who were planting the explosives managed to escape, he added.

PDF members returned to the area in the afternoon to find the bodies, which they said showed signs of torture.  

“All of the bodies had wounds suggesting that they were tortured,” the second PDF member said. “They tried to burn the bodies, but when we arrived we saw only one of them had caught fire properly.” 

PDF members who found the bodies said it appeared their comrades had been tortured (Supplied)

Photos showed several bodies with head injuries and hands tied behind their backs, and one body that was burned.

“They were trapped between two junta columns with no escape route,” said a third PDF member. “They died because their weapons were not as good as the junta’s. They could have made it out alive if only they’d had [better] rifles.” 

Photos shared on social media showed handmade one-shot rifles scattered around the bodies, as well as motorcycles that had been burned. 

The junta soldiers who set up camp in Chan Thar slept in the monastery and the local Farangi church and ransacked the village while they were there.  

A helicopter was seen hovering above the area in the afternoon after the killings, said the third PDF source. 

Last month seven people were found dead in Yae Myat, another village in Ye-U Township, after the military launched an air raid. Junta soldiers occupied the village after the raid and burned down around 60 houses. 

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