Junta forces torch villages in Myanmar’s north amid internet blackout

A series of attacks carried out on Saturday reduced one village to ashes, sources in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township reported

A village in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township was almost completely incinerated on Saturday as regime forces carried out a series of unprovoked attacks in the area over the weekend, according to local sources.

In a statement released on Saturday evening, the Khin-U Township Information Committee claimed that the military had reduced almost the entire village of Dan Kone to ashes earlier in the day.

Local residents confirmed that around 80 junta troops had been raiding villages as they entered the area from neighbouring Ye-U Township.

“I didn’t hear about any fighting. The soldiers just arrived and started setting fire to houses. Everybody fled,” a resident of Shwe Yamin, the village next to Dan Kone, told Myanmar Now.

“They started by torching three houses at the same time,” he said, adding that Dan Kone was the first village to come under attack.

A member of a local defence force said the junta soldiers also passed through the villages of Ywar Thit Kone, Padat Kone, Kone Thar, Aung Thar and Te Kone Gyi.

“There weren’t any clashes, but they kept attacking the villages. We’ve been retreating according to the conditions. We didn’t engage them at all,” he said.

The Khin-U Township Information Committee said it was unable to send photos of the damage because Myanmar’s junta had cut off internet access in the region.

The group, formed by activists opposed to last year’s coup, added that a five-year-old child had been hit by an artillery shell, and that displaced villagers were in need of emergency assistance.

Internet restrictions were imposed on 23 townships in Sagaing last Thursday. At least seven more townships in the region have since lost internet access as the regime moves to isolate areas where it is carrying out operations against resistance forces.

A day after the restrictions were first imposed, junta troops reportedly killed nine civilians and abducted a woman and two children during raids on the Sagaing villages of Min Swe Hna Swe and Muu Kan Gyi.

Myanmar’s military routinely denies targeting civilians, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. It claims that it is protecting civilians from anti-regime  “terrorists”.

Last week, local sources reported that regime soldiers and members of the pro-junta Pyu Saw Htee militia also burned down hundreds of houses in the villages of Letpan Hla and Lel Yar, in Magway Region’s Pauk Township.

Myanmar Now News