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Troops arrest more than 100 villagers in Myanmar’s Magway region

Junta troops arrested and interrogated more than 100 villagers in Magway region’s Gangaw township after anti-junta militias captured weapons in a raid on an arms depot, local People’s Defense Forces said this week.

The roundup began on Monday in Kant That village, where villagers had been armed and told to defend the depot.

Earlier in the day, combined People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) attacked the arms depot, according to a statement Thursday by the Yaw National Revolution Force.

They fought a 20-minute battle with junta troops and affiliated Pyu Saw Htee soldiers.

The statement said that three members of the combined junta forces were killed and the rest of the troops fled their camp. 

A PDF official who didn’t want to be named for security reasons said the defense forces were able to seize a lot of guns and bullets because the villagers who had been told to guard the depot didn’t put up a fight, prompting an angry response from junta troops.

“The entire village was arrested and interrogated because they broke the security line,” he said.

“Some villagers had no experience and ran away without shooting.”

RFA phoned Than Swe Win, the junta spokesperson for Magway region, to get comment on the arrests but nobody answered.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn and Elaine Chan.