A woman was burned to death in her home when junta troops raided her village in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region, residents told RFA Thursday.
The 60-year-old was unable to flee when soldiers torched around 700 houses in Sagaing township’s Thar Zin village on Tuesday, they said.
Troops captured residents of Thar Zin and nearby villages in a series of raids this week, although it was unclear whether they were being used as human shields or suspected of aiding anti-junta militia.
“Some 25 people were arrested in Thar Zin village, and more were arrested in other villages,” said a local who didn’t want to be named for safety reasons.
“So far, about 40 people have been arrested and all were taken along with the military column. No one has been released.”
The local said nearly three quarters of Thar Zin’s buildings had been burned down, leaving more than 3,000 people homeless.
After Tuesday’s raid on Thar Zin, residents said troops torched 10 houses in Aing Dan Ma village the following day and burned homes in Pauk Ma on Thursday.
On June 6, junta Deputy Information Minister Major Gen. Zaw Min Tun told RFA that junta troops do not set fire to civilians’ homes.
RFA called the junta’s Sagaing region spokesperson, Aye Hlaing, Thursday but nobody answered.
More than 53,800 homes have been burned down by junta troops and affiliated militias since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup, according to independent research group Data for Myanmar.
A total of 765,200 people have been forced to flee their homes in Sagaing region due to fighting and arson attacks since the coup, according to a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) report on Tuesday.
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.