Myanmar’s regime launched airstrikes on and torched 10 villages in five townships in Sagaing Region over the weekend, displacing thousands of civilians.
Airstrikes targeted Myaung Township on Sunday after people’s defense forces (PDFs) attacked junta troops at Ta Ma Say village.
Ko Nway Oo, the head of the Civil Defense Security Organization Myaung, said a helicopter arrived after 10 regime soldiers were killed.
“The helicopter hovered above the village three times then soldiers shot where they thought people were hiding,” he said.
A resistance fighter was killed during the clash and four were lightly wounded.
Regime troops then set over 100 houses on fire in Za Yet Gone village, which had over 1,000 houses, and burned homes in Ma Kyee Kan village.
At least five villages in Ayadaw Township and one in Tabayin (also known as Depayin) Township were torched by soldiers over the weekend, residents said.
Civilians from northern Ayadaw fled their homes to avoid raids by more than 100 soldiers.
Around 200 houses in Lae Ngauk village, Yinmabin Township, were burned down by regime soldiers on Saturday.
Buddhist monk Shwe Sanpin Sayardaw Ashin Wai Pon La from Yinmabin asked the regime to stop burning civilian houses as more than 2,000 houses had been burned down in Yinmabin and Pale townships.
“It takes villagers at least 10 years to build a house. Now they were reduced to ashes in minutes,” the monk said.
His Shwe Sanpin monastic school is sheltering more than 500 refugees.
Regime troops also raided Thayatkone village in Khin-U Township, firing artillery after reportedly being informed that it harbored resistance forces, according to Bo Thanmani, the head of Khin-U PDF.
Troops burned nearly 80 houses in the village.