Three civilians killed by resistance force’s explosives in Sagaing while fleeing Myanmar military raid

Three men fleeing a Myanmar army attack on their Kawlin Township villages were killed on Monday after they triggered explosive devices set by the resistance to target junta soldiers, a representative of a local defence force said.

An officer in the anti-junta Kawlin Township People’s Defence Team (PDT)—also known by the Burmese acronym Pa Ka Pha—told Myanmar Now that a military unit of 150 troops broke into two columns and attacked the villages of Zee Phyu Kone and Thea Taw in northern Sagaing Region, resulting in fighting with resistance forces. 

As villagers fled the raids, two men from Zee Phyu Kone and two from Thea Taw set off the explosive devices; only one—from Thea Taw—survived, but lost his leg, the officer said. 

The victims from Zee Phyu Kone were reportedly a father and son who lived near a farm which had been torched by the incoming military. 

“They were part of a family of four. The mother and one of the sons managed to make it out safely, while the father and his other son were killed,” the officer explained.

Further information about the deceased man from Thea Taw was not available at the time of reporting. 

Troops from military-occupied Koe Taung Boet in Kanbalu Township have been carrying out raids on villages in neighbouring Kawlin, including Zee Phyu Kone and Thea Taw

Local defence forces have employed improvised explosive devices to attack the junta’s forces, and maintain that they remove the devices after the military departs from an area. 

The groups also conduct minesweeping missions following the Myanmar army occupation of villages to identify landmines and explosives set by the army in civilian areas. 

A resistance fighter was seriously injured on Tuesday after triggering one such junta explosive planted in Zee Phyu Kone, according to an officer from the Kawlin Township People’s Defence Force (PDF), which was involved in a de-mining operation in the village.

“We were on a minesweeping mission after the military left when one of our teammates stepped on one and lost his foot,” the PDF officer said.

The junta forces that carried out the raids had been stationed in Koe Taung Boet village in neighbouring Kanbalu Township, and began targeting communities in southern Kawlin on September 23. 

More than 10,000 civilians from some 17 villages had been displaced by the attacks, the PDF officer said, adding that the battles in eastern Kawlin, which is nearest to Koe Taung Boet, “never really stop.” 

“We are running short on funds. We even needed to ask the public for funds to help the displaced people” he added.

An alliance of Kawlin Township resistance forces confronted junta troops leaving Koe Taung Boe on September 12, resulting in a battle in which eight guerrilla fighters and two civilians were killed. 

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