Two children and nine senior citizens were killed earlier this week by junta artillery strikes and raids in Sagaing Region’s Yinmabin Township.
Around 100 regime soldiers raided Letpan Taw Village in Yinmabin on Tuesday, firing artillery rounds which killed ten people sheltering in the village monastery, said residents.
“They died after they [junta troops] fired artillery at the monastery. We saw it from the place where we were hiding. But we could do nothing. The victims were then placed on a bed in the west of the monastery and set on fire. They were a total of ten people including two kids,” said one resident.
Eight elderly people died in the artillery strike alongside the two children.
One of the victim’s family members said: “It grieved us to see their charred bodies. We feel like we would fight them [the junta] at once if we had weapons. Words fail me.”
An elderly woman from Kantha Village, who was taking shelter at Kantha’s monastery, died in another junta raid, locals reported.
Civilians from Kantha and Letpan Taw villages were also reportedly abducted by military regime troops.
“Five people were abducted with their hands tied. We heard one of them was released on Wednesday,” a member of the Yinmabin People’s Defense Forces (PDF) told The Irrawaddy on Thursday. Yinmabin PDF clashed with junta troops during the raid on Letpan Taw Village on Tuesday.
“Clashes are still taking place,’ said one Yinmabin PDF fighter on Thursday. “We don’t know where they [regime forces] are heading. But as they march, we ambush them with mines where possible. They are not wearing military uniforms, but they are in black clothes and short pants, pretending [to be civilians]. They dare not travel in small groups, so they come as a large group and there might be around 100 of them.”
Military tensions remain high in the area with junta forces deployed near a pagoda in the west of Theegon Village in Yinmabin.
The Myanmar military has reinforced its soldiers across Yinmabin and is raiding one village after another in an effort to crush resistance in the township, said local PDF fighters.