Over 10,000 locals flee as military seizes township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region

Five locals were arrested in pre-dawn raids on Khin-U township by junta troops.

Over 10,000 residents from more than 10 villages in Sagaing region’s Khin-U township have fled their villages after junta forces launched offensives in its eastern and western areas, locals told RFA.

As a military column entered the villages on the eastern side of Khin-U township at around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning, more than 2,000 households from Thi Ha Taw, Shwe Min Gan, Thin Paung, Ka Bwet, Koke Tet and Yone Pin villages abandoned their homes.

“Early in the morning, before dawn, we all ran away with carts,” a local told RFA.

“Both children and elderly people were suffering. I heard that they [junta troops] entered Yone Pin village this morning and two local residents were arrested.”

Villages in western Khin-U also targeted

Residents said that in the western part of Khin-U township another military column was raiding villages forcing nearly 3,500 locals to flee. Three locals were arrested in Ywar Thit village, they said.

The State Administration Council (SAC) has not released any statement on the raids.

People’s Defense Force (PDF) members said they resisted the military council troops using landmines on Monday and Tuesday causing heavy casualties on the junta side. The troops have started raiding villages as a consequence, they said.

Northwestern Sagaing region has seen some of the fiercest fighting between junta forces and PDFs since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup.

According to the Bangkok-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, authorities in Myanmar have killed 2,299 civilians and arrested 15,571 since last year’s coup.