Ij reportika Logo

Myanmar military arrests Sagaing region villagers, torches homes

Junta troops detained six villagers and burned homes in a township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region, locals and anti-regime forces told RFA Thursday.

Residents of Ayadaw township said troops fired heavy artillery and then raided Baw Kone village around dawn on Wednesday.

They took six villagers as human shields when they withdrew, the locals said.

“They entered the village firing heavy artillery and handguns and burned 10 houses,” said a resident who didn’t want to be named for fear of reprisals.

“Six villagers were taken hostage. They have not been released yet. Their names are still unknown as we were on the run for safety. And no one knows if they are alive or dead …. We can’t expect anything until they get back.”

The local added that the hostages were taken in the direction of Naung Gyi Aing village where the troops are temporarily stationed.

A member of Ayadaw township People’s Defense Force said his militia fought with troops a few hours before the village raid.

“The clash broke out for only a few minutes. But we had to retreat because they had more weapons,” he said.

“We easily outnumbered them but we didn’t have the firepower.”

Locals said nearly 8,000 residents from nine villages, including Baw Kone, had fled junta raids.

RFA’s calls to the junta’s spokesperson for Sagaing region, Saw Naing, went unanswered Thursday.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang.