Village in Sagaing Region resistance stronghold ‘reduced to ashes’ by Myanmar military
Some 95 of the 130 homes in Kha War Thei village in Kyunhla Township are destroyed in an all-day arson attack by junta troops
Some 200 junta soldiers set fire to nearly the entire village of Kha War Thei in southern Kyunhla Township on Monday, according to local sources.
The troops arrived at the site, located 20 miles south of Kyunhla town in Sagaing Region, at around 10am after having previously been stationed at the Thaphan Seik Dam.
Just 35 houses out of Kha War Thei’s 130 residences survived the fire, according to a member of the village’s anti-junta defence team. He added that there were believed to be no civilian casualties in the attack as residents had fled.
“[The soldiers] torched the village even though there were no battles in the area. They didn’t stop until the evening and almost the entire village was destroyed,” he said, adding that his own home was among those lost.
Some of the soldiers involved in the assault stayed overnight in Kha War Thei before departing, while others left for neighbouring Taze Township on Monday evening.
Displaced residents—who at the time of reporting were sheltering in the nearby forests—have been reluctant to return to what is left of the village, fearing that the military might return.
“The military appears to be conducting ‘clearance’ operations in the area,” the village defence team member told Myanmar Now. “We are barely able to recognise our village now, as it was basically reduced to ashes.”
The leader of the defence team said that anti-junta forces in the resistance stronghold of Kyunhla would not be deterred by recent attacks.
“I have not lost my faith in the revolution. We are going to keep going,” he said.
The next day, more junta soldiers raided and torched homes in Kyauk Taing village, Kanbalu Township, located next to Kyunhla, local sources said.
Last week, some 500 homes in Khin-U Township were also reported to have been burned down by Myanmar army troops.
The military council has not commented on its operations in Sagaing Region, and frequently denies responsibility for such attacks.