News

Myanmar villagers accuse junta troops of burning spree

June 4, 2022 01:00 PM


Myanmar junta troops have torched hundreds of buildings during a three-day raid in the country's north, local media and residents said, as the military struggles to crush resistance to its rule.

The Sagaing region has seen fierce fighting and bloody reprisals since the coup last year, with local "People's Defence Force" (PDF) members clashing regularly with junta troops.

Analysts say the informal militia has surprised junta forces with its effectiveness, and the military has on numerous occasions called in air strikes to support its troops on the ground.

Troops torched hundreds of buildings in the villages of Kinn, Upper Kinn and Ke Taung over three days last week, locals and media reports said. 

On May 26, villagers in Kinn fled as soldiers approached and began shooting into the air, said one resident who requested anonymity.  

"The next morning we saw smoke rising from our village before they left. 

"Over 200 houses were burned down... my house was totally burned down, only the concrete foundation is left."

Drone footage purporting to show the aftermath obtained by AFP showed columns of smoke rising into the sky from the villages, set along a roughly eight-kilometre stretch of the Chindwin river.

A health clinic seen in the video matched the geolocation of one in Ke Taung village.

AFP digital verification reporters confirmed the footage had not appeared online before last week but could not independently verify reports from the region. 

Soldiers "raided and destroyed our houses", said Ke Taung villager Aye Tin, who requested to use a pseudonym.  

"And they also burned motor boats that we use for transport and for carrying food for our village, including my boat.

"My life is ruined, as I have lost my home... and I nothing left to do for a living."

Satellite images from US space agency NASA showed fires in locations that matched Ke Taung and Kinn villages last week. 

The junta has previously rebuffed claims its troops have torched houses, accusing "terrorist" PDF fighters of starting the fires.

In a speech on Tuesday, junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said "efforts were made to minimise the casualties as much as possible in performing the counterattacks to terror acts." 

"Now, the country is in tranquillity," he said, according to state newspaper the Global New Light of Myanmar. 



Most Read

  1. Stormy rain warning: Holiday in Sindh schools tomorrow Stormy rain warning: Holiday in Sindh schools tomorrow
  2. PML-N candidate declared winner in NA-154 Lodhran vote recount PML-N candidate declared winner in NA-154 Lodhran vote recount
  3. Taxila police book ASI torture victim woman in theft case Taxila police book ASI torture victim woman in theft case
  4. Female police officer praised for saving woman with Arabic text dress from angry mob Female police officer praised for saving woman with Arabic text dress from angry mob
  5. Fire breaks out at Peshawar scrap warehouse Fire breaks out at Peshawar scrap warehouse
  6. Maryam Nawaz takes oath as Punjab chief minister, vows ‘no revenge’ Maryam Nawaz takes oath as Punjab chief minister, vows ‘no revenge’

Opinion

  1. Literate the Religious Illiterate
    Literate the Religious Illiterate

    By Dr Asif Channer

  2. THE SECRET WAR: Public Interest Vs Official Secrets Act 1923
    THE SECRET WAR: Public Interest Vs Official Secrets Act 1923

    By Syed Aun Mohammed Bokhari

  3. Political Opportunism and the 18th Constitutional Amendment
    Political Opportunism and the 18th Constitutional Amendment

    By Muhammad Asad Ayaz

  4. To Know and Not to Know
    To Know and Not to Know

    By Abdullah Bin Tahir

  5. Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society
    Gender equality: A pre-requisite for a balanced society

    By Mehak Sabir