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Myanmar junta arrests minors, elderly and disabled villagers

Junta troops arrested nearly 50 villagers in central Myanmar, locals told Radio Free Asia on Friday. After a junta officer was killed in a clash Wednesday, officials from the battalion entered the village in Sagaing region.  

Min Ga Lar Kone village in Monywa township is located near the site of the battle and close to where junta troops store artillery, locals said.

A troop of about 50 soldiers entered Min Ga Lar Kone firing weapons and arrested the villagers around 5 pm, said a resident, who did not want to be named for security reasons.

“There were shootings nearby and people from the village were arrested. They were of all ages, from about 15 years old to the elderly,” he said. “It is quite a large number but it is not clear who they are. A mentally ill man from the village was also arrested.”

Currently, officials are detaining and investigating them at a police station in Monywa township for association with local People’s Defense Forces, locals said.

Roughly 30 of the arrested villagers are civilians from Min Ga Lar Kone, according to a Telegram channel owned by the Monywa People’s Administration Team, a local civilian administration under the National Unity Government.

Troops raided and burned down two houses in the village, according to the administration team, which added it is still trying to identify those arrested.

RFA called Sagaing region’s junta spokesperson Sai Naing Naing Kyaw seeking comment on the raids, but he did not reply by the time of publication.

More than 25,000 people, including pro-democracy activists, have been arrested since the 2021 coup, according to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.