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Around 6,000 villagers forced to flee township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region

Myanmar’s military is carrying on its campaign to seize control of townships in northern Sagaing region, torching buildings and forcing around 6,000 locals to flee Khin-U, residents told RFA on Monday.

An official of Khin-U township’s Right Information Group told RFA that a total of 15 villages in the township were raided by two military columns.

The man, who requested anonymity for security reasons, said nearly 3,500 residents in the northeastern part and 2,500 in the southwestern part of Khin-U township abandoned their homes ahead of the military raids.

A resident of Khin-U’s Ah Lel Sho village told RFA troops killed livestock and captured locals.

“Four cows and two pigs were slaughtered, and five people were arrested. I think they have to carry the packs. Three people were in their 20s and two in their 60s,” said the local who declined to be named for fear of reprisals.

“Now, the junta troops are burning down Yauk Thwar Aing village to the south of Ah Lel Sho. I can see the smoke in the distance but I can’t get close because of the troops.”

Residents of Chan Thar Kone village said a 60-year-old man, Than Win, was shot and injured while he bumped into a military junta column on July 1.

Meanwhile, residents of neighboring Shwebo township said troops shot dead two local men. They said the bodies were discovered after a column of around 40 troops withdrew on Saturday.

“Two people were shot dead near a rest tent in Kawt village in the eastern part of Shwebo. That was the route the junta took when it carried out its offensive,” said a local who didn’t want to be named for security reasons,

“It’s not yet known who they were or where they were from. The bodies were still there on Monday morning.”

RFA called the junta spokesperson for Sagaing region, Saw Naing, on Sunday and Monday regarding the arson attacks and killings, but he did not answer.

More than 1.5 million civilians have fled their homes since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup, according to the United Nation Office  for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), It said around 765,200 were from Sagaing region.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.