Junta razes village in northern Myanmar, opens fire on residents

One man died and eight others were injured by landmines.
By RFA Burmese
2023.10.20
Junta razes village in northern Myanmar, opens fire on residents Residents in western Tabayin township, Sagaing region fled after junta raids on September 30, 2023.
Tabayin township aid group for war-affected people

Updated Oct. 10, 2023, at 8:25 a.m. ET

A man died and eight were injured when troops laid landmines in their village in Sagaing region after raiding it and burning the houses to the ground, locals said Friday.

Two mines exploded while residents were cleaning up the remains of their houses on Thursday, one Pyawbwe resident told Radio Free Asia. After the troops left the village, they turned back to shell the survivors. 

“After they left, we went in and cleared the burnt houses in the village. The two mines planted by the junta soldiers were stepped on and blew up,” said the man who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “The troops shelled the area that had been blown up, injuring nine people with landmines and heavy artillery. One of them died this morning.”

The column trekked from Ye-U township to Tabayin township. Villages along the route were systematically raided and bombarded with heavy artillery, he added.

Across the south of Sagaing region, military convoys have carried out brutal attacks, causing thousands to flee their homes in early October. 

Troops killed one man and arrested 30 on a five-day raid across Shwebo, Khin-U, Pale and Kanbalu townships during the third week of October. On Saturday, villagers found three teenagers beaten and shot to death outside their village in Yinmarbin township. 

RFA contacted Sagaing region’s ethnic affairs minister and junta spokesperson Sai Naing Naing Kyaw seeking comment on the attack, but he did not reply by time of publication. 

Nationwide, junta convoys killed eight civilians from Oct. 1 to 17 with airstrikes and heavy artillery, according to data compiled by RFA. Forty-one people were injured.

More than 800,000 people have fled their homes in Sagaing region due to the conflict since the military coup, according to the United Nations.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

Updated to add that the attack happened on Thursday.

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