A junta unit attacked by the resistance with explosives returns to torch area villages, forcing locals to flee their homes
Thousands of villagers have been displaced by recent military assaults on Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township, according to local sources.
Members of the anti-junta resistance said that a 70-soldier column in western Khin-U and a 200-soldier unit in the east have been perpetrating the attacks.
The first column targeted villages along the highway connecting Khin-U with Ye-U Township, which lies to the west. On Wednesday at 10am they arrived at the community of Thagara Myo Thit, some eight miles from Khin-U’s administrative centre.
A clash with local defence forces broke out at the village’s entrance, with no casualties reported by the resistance, who were forced to withdraw.
A guerrilla fighter from one of the groups that participated in the battle said that Myanmar army soldiers then set up a base in Thagara Myo Thit after torching at least three homes.
The following morning, half of the column reportedly continued on to neighbouring Gway Kone, more than one mile away, where more homes were burnt.
Displaced locals from eastern Khin-U township
The defence force member who spoke to Myanmar Now said that on Tuesday, an alliance of resistance groups had carried out three attacks with explosive devices targeting a four-vehicle military convoy along the highway to Ye-U.
“There were so many junta casualties,” he said. “I think they came back for revenge.”
The troops belonged to the column now operating in western Khin-U.
One of the trucks was destroyed after being hit with six makeshift bombs and left behind in Inpat village, two miles from Ye-U. The remaining three vehicles were also destroyed after being attacked near Thagara Myo Thit, Gway Kone and Kan Thit villages, according to an officer in the Khin-U People’s Defence Force (PDF).
Two of the vehicles were later retrieved by the junta, but two were abandoned by the roadside, he added.
By Thursday, locals in multiple villages along the highway had fled the military raids.
Displaced locals from eastern Khin-U township (Supplied)
The larger junta column operating in eastern Khin-U, which borders Mandalay Region, began its raids on Tuesday, with junta ships travelling along the Ayeyarwady River attacking the villages of Ka Bwat and Yone Pin.
“We heard last night that the military was coming, so we fled into the woods. There isn’t anyone left behind in the village and we heard gunshots all day yesterday,” a displaced resident of Ka Bwat said on Thursday.
According to a statement by the Khin-U PDF, some 7,500 civilians from 2,000 households had been displaced from Ka Bwat to the surrounding forests.
In Yone Pin, most of the residents also fled, but 10 locals were arrested by the arriving Myanmar army troops, according to the Khin-U PDF officer, who did not have further information on their whereabouts or condition at the time of reporting.
Allied resistance forces attacked the junta unit leaving Yone Pin for Ka Bwat on Thursday to join the column already occupying the community. They reportedly killed six troops and injured an unspecified number of soldiers who were then transported by the military to Mandalay.
“They buried the dead soldiers in a valley near Ka Bwat village and the injured soldiers were taken to Shwe Kyin, which is located to the east of the river,” the PDF officer said.
The junta has not released any information on its recent activities in Khin-U.