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Junta raids force 5,000 residents of Myanmar’s Sagaing region to flee township

A junta raid on Tuesday forced nearly 5,000 residents from 10 villages in Sagaing region to flee, locals told RFA.

They said a junta column raided a village in Salingyi township this morning, prompting locals from other villages in the area to abandon their homes.

“In the past people normally returned to their villages if the junta column left and went away,” said a villager who didn’t want to be named for security reasons. 

“But now it’s raining and hot, so the roads are bad and it’s hard for people [to move around].”

The local said the junta had been carrying out systematic raids on villages almost every day since July 21.

Residents said they are also scared to return home because they fear junta gunboats will come up the river firing heavy artillery.

RFA reached out to the junta’s Sagaing region spokesman, Saw Naing, for comment but he did not answer calls on Tuesday.

Nearly 800,000 Sagaing region residents have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict since the junta staged a February 2021 coup, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn and Josh Lipes.