Junta forces murder four civlians in raids on Sagaing Region villages
One man was shot while watering crops and another appears to have been tortured and executed after he was detained
Junta soldiers and their armed supporters murdered four civilians on Friday during raids on two villages in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township that were aimed at flushing out resistance fighters, witnesses told Myanmar Now.
About 10 troops and 20 members of the military-backed Pyu Saw Htee group arrived at Ba Oe village at around 5am and shot villagers on sight. Thein Tint, 40, was murdered while watering his crops, while 35-year-old Nan Lwin was shot while running away.
Villagers later found the body of Mya Win, 50, in his home.
“We decided to check his house at the edge of the village and we found him with the top of his head missing,” said one of the villagers, who requested anonymity. “There were no other injuries. I think they shot him in the head at close-range.”
“He was not in a condition to be able to defend himself as he was sick,” the villager added.
“His wife managed to escape but he had to stay behind because of his health.”
The fourth person, 27-year-old Chit San Maung, was killed when around 20 soldiers raided the nearby village of Inn Pat.
Another man in Ba Oe was badly injured by a bullet that struck his thigh, locals said.
The entire populations of both villages fled the attacks. Ba Oe has around 300 households while Inn Pat has around 500.
“There are still some people who have not eaten since we left,” said the Ba Oe villager. “There’s nothing we can do now no matter how angry we are. The whole village is in trouble.”
Military units and plainclothes military personnel were still stationed at the monastery in Ba Oe the day after the raids, and the bodies of the three people who were killed there had not been buried, the villager said.
After everyone fled Inn Pat village, Chit San Maung and another person returned on Friday afternoon thinking the military had left, but were met by soldiers.
“The person who accompanied Chit San Maung told us that he was taken by the military and that he let them arrest him peacefully,” a villager said on condition of anonymity. “But we found a pool of blood around 200 feet from where he was taken and his body was found outside the village.”
Chit San Maung was shot in the head, said the villager, adding that he also had his arm broken and numerous fractures all over his body.
Several calls to junta spokesperson Zaw Min Tun requesting comment went unanswered.
Several military units stationed themselves in the Khin-U villages of Pyin Htaung, Magyitone, Madaunghla and Ywar Thit this month and have since launched numerous raids on other villages in the area, according to the Khin-U People Defence Force (PDF).
Soldiers killed five people including a 5-year-old child on October 1 when they raided Pyin Htaung, while a sixth villager died of shock. Locals said the father of the deceased child was a junta soldier who was stationed in another area.
Three people from the village of Tesu were killed on October 3 and another person was killed there on October 16.
Resistance forces in the area are badly outgunned, often forced to use single-shot muskets while going up against soldiers with rifles and heavy weaponry.
Despite that, the junta has suffered heavy losses in the region as resistance forces use landmines and other explosives in guerilla-style attacks.