Junta troops tortured a man and cut off his head after raiding a village in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region, locals told RFA.
They said troops also burned down 53 houses and a Buddhist event hall in Ta Pa Yin Kwe village on Sunday morning.
The victim, 44-year-old Tun Tun Win, was arrested when troops raided the village shortly after sunrise, according to a resident who didn’t want to be named for security reasons.
“He was captured by an army column on his way back to his tent in the east of the village,” the local said.
“He was interrogated and beaten. He did not know anything as he was a civilian. When he did not answer, the troops killed and beheaded him by a lake in the east of the village.”
The local said Tun Tun Win was a farmer, who leaves behind a wife and three children.
It’s the second time this year troops have raided and burned houses in the village, killing locals.
In January, troops shot local Buddhist leader the Venerable Gandhasara, two civilians and a local anti-junta fighter, and set fire to 90 homes, residents told RFA.
The junta stepped up its slash-and-burn campaign in Sagaing township this month. Residents said a column of more than 100 troops has been raiding and burning villages along the Mu River since April 20.
They said 449 houses in six villages were destroyed between April 21 and 24. Troops arrested five people in those raids, according to one local who also wished to remain anonymous.
The junta has not issued a statement on the raids and RFA’s calls to Sagaing region’s junta spokesperson Aye Hlaing went unanswered Tuesday.
Junta chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, and junta Deputy Information Minister Major Gen. Zaw Min Tun, have repeatedly denied that their troops burn civilian buildings, claiming all the arson attacks were carried out by anti-junta People’s Defense Forces.
Nearly 48,000 homes in Sagaing region have been burned down since the February 2021 coup, according to independent research group Data for Myanmar.
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.