Junta raid on Sagaing region village kills 8 civilians and 6 Defense Force members

The civilians were trapped in the village when the army raided it.

At least 14 people have been killed in a junta raid on Monywa township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region, according to residents.

The bodies were discovered on Monday evening as locals returned to Htan Lay Pin village. It had been occupied by junta troops since a battle between one of the local People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) and troops, aided by the pro-junta Pya Saw Htee militia, near the village on Sunday.

“Six PDF members were killed. Of the six, one body could not be recovered. Four of the remaining five were beheaded and their hands were cut off,” said the information officer for Monywa district PDF Battalion Number 5, who did not want to be named for security reasons.

“Eight civilians were found dead. We have some photographs. Women and the elderly are among them.”

An information officer for the anti-junta Monywa-Amyint Road group, speaking on condition of anonymity, told RFA the names of only three of the eight dead civilians could be confirmed because junta troops are still near the village.

“Htwe Zaw Oo, 37, had a gunshot wound below the jaw. Kyaw Myo Win, 40, had a gunshot wound on his forearm. He was beaten and died. Sein Hlaing, 45, was beheaded,” the information officer said.

The eight victims were unable to escape from Htan Lay Pin village before Sunday’s raid.

The State Administration Council has not released any statement on the incident, and RFA’s calls to its Sagaing

region spokesman, Aye Hlaing, went unanswered on Wednesday.

Some pro-military Telegram channels said the eight villagers were PDF soldiers although locals deny this.

More than 3,000 residents from 10 villages, including Htan Lay Pin, in the south of Monywa township, have been forced to flee junta raids that started a week ago. Troops set fire to houses in the villages as they left.

Fighting in Sagaing region has been among the fiercest in Myanmar, leading to the deaths of more than 1,500 civilians since the Feb., 2021 coup, according to independent research group the Institute for Strategy and Policy - Myanmar.