At least seven civilians were killed during military raids in Sagaing Township, located in the region by the same name, after a junta airport policeman and his wife were recently murdered in the area.
The police sub-inspector from Mandalay’s Tada-U Airport Than Min Soe and his wife, Thuzar Tun, were reportedly shot dead by a group of gunmen on the morning of September 13 in Sagaing town. The couple’s children, aged 9 and 2 and who were with them at the time, were said to have been spared.
“They were shot dead on their way back from paying respect to their parents,” a Sagaing Township local said. “They were walking towards their car which was parked in the Shwe Bon Thar monastery compound when they were attacked. I heard that the children survived.”
After the incident and from their bases in the villages of Nyaung Kone and Thalun Phyu and the Shwe Bon Thar monastery, the military started launching massive assaults in the area. They also blocked exits of villages in western Sagaing Township in order to search and detain residents.
More than 3,000 people fled their homes, seeking shelter in Sagaing town and in monasteries.
“They arrested some 10 men that were sitting inside a tea shop near Ngar Htet Gyi Pagoda,” a local source said. “Some 40 people from several villages including Thalun Phyu were arrested and seven were also killed.”
The troops were said to be from Light Infantry Division 33 in Sagaing, and numbered around 100.
Pro-junta Telegram channels reported that a drone and handmade rifle, weapons commonly used by resistance forces, were seized during searches of Thalun Phyu and other nearby communities.
Myanmar army soldiers also overran a resistance camp near the village of Te Gyi, more than 5km southwest of Sagaing town, on Monday morning, killing two guerrilla fighters, according to a man from the area, who added that some weapons were also confiscated.
That afternoon, the same troops torched homes in Te Gyi and detained two residents who were later killed, according to the local man. The identities of the victims could not be confirmed at the time of reporting.
The same military-aligned Telegram channels said that there were two casualties on the side of the resistance during the camp raid, that weapons were seized, but there was no mention of the slain civilians in Te Gyi.
Some 14 more villagers were reportedly detained on Monday, seven from the sites of the raids and seven others who were sheltering in Sagaing town after fleeing their homes, according to locals.