The bodies of a woman and two men have been found after junta troops set fire to Lat Pu Kan village in Myanmar’s Sagaing region on Monday.
The three had been tied up and killed before troops torched the village in Pale township.
The bodies of the woman, Daw Aye Man, and a man U Kyaung Maung, both in their 70s, were found along with U Paw, a man in his 80s, a local resident told RFA.
“The victims were arrested and killed,” said the resident, who declined to be named for safety reasons. “Daw Aye Man, the woman, could not go anywhere as she was old and had no one who could carry her to help her flee. She was killed in her bed. U Paw, who was over 80, had poor vision. He was tied up and killed. The other man, U Kyaung Maung, was deaf. Their bodies were found after the military left the village.”
It was not clear why the three were killed when they were unable to take up arms to resist the junta forces. Calls to a military council spokesman by RFA on Tuesday morning went unanswered.
In addition to the three murdered villagers, a 30-year-old local, Ko Naing, is missing according to local residents.
A 53-year-old man, U Paw San, was shot and injured on Monday when troops fired heavy artillery and live rounds on nearby Kokko Gone village, locals told RFA. Three cattle were also killed.
The military council has not issued a statement on either incident.
The local People’s Defense Force (PDF) militia said that local PDFs have been able to defeat the junta’s troops because locals led them around landmines. It said that was why troops targeted the villages.
Local militia member, Saya Poe Thar from the Kya Thit Nat group (Leopard Squad) said the troops who burned Lat Pu Kan and Kokko Gone villages on Monday also went to Pon Taung Nat Htake village in Pale Township on June 10, sending 107 military trucks, carrying around 170 soldiers. The troops included a landmine clearance team.
He said about 10 soldiers were killed on Sunday by landmines laid by the Kya Thit Nat militia group. Two local fighters also died.
The military then set fire to nearby villages thought to support the PDFs, killing civilians and destroying their homes, Saya Poe Thar said.
Sagaing has been the site of some of the fiercest fighting between military troops and opposition PDFs since the junta seized power in February last year. Data for Myanmar says 103 people were killed and 192 injured in the region between February 1, 2021 and April 28 this year.
Fighting and arson attacks have forced an estimated 336,600 people to flee their homes in Sagaing since the coup, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Independent think-tank Institute for Strategy and Policy Myanmar said this month that around 15,530 homes and other buildings had been burned or destroyed in the northwest region from the start of military rule until May 26 this year, representing nearly 70% of all the buildings damaged in Myanmar.