Two weeks after attack on police station, junta troops continue destruction of Salingyi village

Regime forces occupying the village of Nyaung Pin Gyi in Sagaing Region’s Salingyi Township are continuing to destroy homes and kill residents there, according to resistance sources.

The village, located across the Chindwin River from Monywa, the region’s capital and largest city, has been under the control of junta troops since June 9, when an attack on the local police station left at least five armed regime personnel dead.

Since then, residents who have returned after fleeing have been shot dead and hundreds of homes have been burned down by the column of around 100 troops currently stationed there.

Earlier this week, another body was found in the village, belonging to a mentally handicapped man named Kyaw Min Khine, according to an information officer from Salingyi Township’s anti-regime people’s administration team.

“The body had already begun to decompose when we found it. It was also covered with bruises, suggesting that he was tortured before his death,” said the information officer.

Other recent deaths have also been reported. One victim, an elderly woman named Tin Shwe, died of starvation because fellow villagers were unable to bring her food, and another, a man in his 40s named San Kyaw Oo, suffered a heart attack while fleeing his home, according to the information officer.

Local sources told Myanmar Now that another body had been discovered near the village’s port on Wednesday morning. The victims’ hands had reportedly been tied behind his back and the body showed signs of torture, the sources said.

The exact number of houses that have been destroyed is still unknown, but it is estimated that the village of around 700 households has lost at least 500 buildings over the past two weeks.

Some residents said they returned to the village to rescue valuables, but most have stayed away due to the heavy military presence.

Smoke rises from Nyaung Pin Gyi as junta troops set fire to houses (Salingyi People’s Administration Team)

“We decided to sneak back in to get some things we didn’t want to lose. We knew we’d never see them again if we left them there,” said one woman in her 30s who returned to her home despite the risk.

“[Soldiers] were patrolling around the village on motorcycles when we got there,” she added.

Local resistance forces said the military appeared to be building a base at the site of the police station that was attacked earlier this month, possibly to protect the nearby Letpadaung copper mine, which is operated jointly by China’s state-owned Wanbao mining company and the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings, Ltd, a military-owned conglomerate.

“We’re assuming that they are building a stronghold here,” said a member of a local defence team. “They have two bulldozers and they’re digging trenches.”

The village’s proximity to Monywa is probably also a concern, as the headquarters of the military’s Northwestern Regional Command, which controls operations throughout Sagaing Region, is located in the city.

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