Junta troops arrested around 100 villagers in Myanmar’s southernmost Tanintharyi region and are still holding almost 80 of them, locals told RFA.
They said around 30 soldiers entered Yae Nge village in Thayetchaung township and took residents to a local monastery for questioning.
“All the people who were there were arrested. Troops opened fire and captured them when some people ran,” said a villager who didn’t want to be named for security reasons.
He said he didn’t know the names and ages of those arrested but said both men and women were being questioned by the junta.
Other locals speculated that the junta is interrogating them because there are People’s Defense Forces in neighboring villages.
RFA called Yin Htwe, the junta spokesperson for Tanintharyi region, but he said he didn’t know about the incident.
Tanintharyi region, bordering Thailand, has seen some of the fiercest resistance to rule by Myanmar’s military, which seized power in a Feb. 2021 coup.
There were more than 3,700 clashes in the region and nearly 400 deaths between Feb. 2021 and Feb. 2023, according to the UN Organization for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The junta declared martial law in Palaw and Tanintharyi townships on Feb. 2 this year and sent more troops into the area as armed clashes intensified and residents staged nonviolent “silent strikes” across Tanintharyi.
The junta has arrested nearly 21,500 civilians across Myanmar since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 17,500 are still in custody.
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.