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Junta troops kill 7 defense force members in Sagaing region raid

Seven members of a local defense force were killed during a raid by junta troops on a Sagaing region base, a People’s Defense Force information officer told Radio Free Asia.

The victims were members of another local defense force based near Mon Yway Kyay Mon village in Chaung-U township, where Wednesday’s raid took place, the officer said.

“The junta troops ambushed a small information station based in Mon Yway Kyay Mon on the border between Monywa and Chaing-U,” he said. “It was not an exchange of fire between the two sides.”

Two people escaped from the raid on the base, which had been used by the Chaung-U PDF to issue press releases and make phone calls, the officer said. 

Junta troops confiscated weapons from the dead fighters, he said.

RFA’s call to the junta spokesperson for the Sagaing region, Tin Than Win, regarding the attack went unanswered.

7,000 residents flee

Also in Sagaing, more than 7,000 people from nine villages fled their homes on Wednesday when a 100-member junta column marched through the southern part of Sagaing’s Salingyi township, residents told Radio Free Asia.

There was no fighting reported, and as of midday on Wednesday, no houses had been burned and no villagers had been arrested or killed.  

It was the latest case of displacement from the civil war wracking Myanmar. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, nearly 800,000 people have fled their homes in Sagaing region since the Feb. 1, 2021, military coup.

A local resident, who did not want to be named for security reasons, told RFA that all nine villages were in the vicinity of the junta troops.

“Those villages are close to the column. Such villages located near the column have to monitor the movement of the column and take shelter in other villages,” the resident said.

He added that the troops were stationed in one of the nine villages – Son Tar village – until Wednesday afternoon.

RFA made another attempt to reach Tin Than Win about the fleeing of the local residents, but that call also went unanswered.

The junta has responded in the past that there is no reason for civilians to worry when columns of junta troops move through their villages.

Translated by Htin Aung Kyaw. Edited by Matt Reed.