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Junta kills 3 during raid in central Myanmar while torching a village

Three people are dead and nearly 30 houses have been burned down following a junta raid, residents told Radio Free Asia on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a junta battalion with roughly 100 members from Sagaing city’s 33rd Division entered Pan Chi village, locals said.

One victim was a civilian and the other two were members of local People’s Defense Forces, one man added, asking to remain anonymous for security reasons. The civilian was 40-year-old Lin Lin, who returned to the village to help his parents.

“The junta troops entered the village with loud gunfire. They started burning a house that they thought belonged to the village chief. One man, who has since died, returned to the village to rescue his parents,” he told RFA. “He planned to carry them on his back, as his parents were not able to run during the raid. But he was shot in the chest before he reached his parents. He was cremated immediately on Tuesday.”

Later that day, two resistance group members were also shot dead near the village. About 10 villagers were arrested and interrogated in the village monastery, the local added. They have since been released.

Junta troops raided Pan Chi village because a captain and a soldier from battalion No. 6005 went missing on Monday evening, another resident told RFA.

“I heard that [the missing soldiers] wanted to join the Civil Disobedience Movement. They linked up with the defense forces and rode along with the car while they went shopping in Ohn Taw village,” he said, asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “But from [the junta’s] point of view, they thought it was an arrest by the People’s Defense Forces. They saw that the car was driven towards the road leading to Yae Myet village. [Junta troops] went to check in Yae Myet village, but they were not there.”

On Wednesday morning following the attack, junta troops arrested 15 men sheltering in two monasteries with other villagers in Ohn Taw village on suspicion of being associated with resistance groups, he said, adding that the entire village had fled.

Nearly 5,000 residents from Sagaing’s Pan Chi, Ohn Taw, and Yae Myet villages ran to safety as a result of the arrests and killings.

Calls to Sagaing region’s junta spokesperson Sai Naing Naing Kyaw by RFA to learn more about the attacks went unanswered.

In May 2022, a defense camp near Pan Chi village was torched and eight members of the defense forces were killed, according to the residents and defense forces.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.