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More than a thousand villagers flee Sagaing region battle

Two People’s Defense Force members died in fighting with Myanmar junta troops in Sagaing region’s Ye-U township. A local PDF commander confirmed they were both members of the local defense force. The PDF said at least 10 junta troops also died but RFA could not independently verify this.

More than 1,000 locals fled Kone Thar, Ywar Thit, Nga Pyaw Taw and Kun Ohn villages after air raids on Wednesday, residents told RFA.

A Kone Thar resident, who declined to be named for security reasons, said during the battle in the village the junta used helicopter gunships and fired on the village for around 30 minutes.

Fighting broke out when junta soldiers arrived from Nyaung Hla and Mu Son villages.

Helicopters were brought in to help the soldiers, arriving twice in the morning to drop off troops and fire on PDF members.

The local resident told RFA the gunfire was not just aimed at the militia but also damaged roads and a hospital.

Although most of the residents were able to flee, some elderly people were left in Kone Thar.

Locals said they don’t know how many residents were killed because they were afraid to return to the village until the fighting died down.

They said around 100 junta soldiers are still in Kone Thar.

RFA’s calls to Sagaing region’s Military Council Minister of Social Affairs Aye Hlaing went unanswered.

Military Council spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, said in the past the military council forces only attack villages in Sagaing Region that are training and hiding members of the PDFs.

Internet and telephone access in Ye-U township is often cut off when junta forces carry out raids, locals told RFA.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes across Myanmar between the Feb. 1, 2021 coup and Aug. 3.