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Elderly Civilians Killed in Myanmar Junta Raids in Sagaing

The remains of a school in Hpo Kone village after a junta raid in Kantbalu Township on November 23. / Kyunhla Activist Group

Seven civilians, including two resistance members, were killed by Myanmar’s junta during raids on four villages in Kantbalu Township, Sagaing Region, last week, according to the media.

Around 862 houses, including Buddhist and Muslim buildings and a school, were burned down, according to the Kyunhla Activist Group, which submitted videos and photos.

On November 22, around 100 troops attacked Kyauk Tine village in southern Kantbalu with explosives and automatic firearms.

Daw Pyar, 90, and Daw Htoo, 75, were burned alive in their houses, the Infinity Media Group told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

A 37-year-old resident, Ko Kyaw Zin Oo, could not walk and was killed in the village.

Around 177 out of the 200 houses in the village, and the monastery, were burned down.

The troops later attacked the adjacent largely Muslim village of Kyi Su and torched 600 houses, including a mosque, Infinity said. Daw Tike, 53, and U Kyaw Min U, 45, were burned to death after reportedly being tied up in a house.

Two resistance members were killed by troops while attempting to put out fires in the villages, Infinity reported.

On July 18, troops killed 11 civilians and torched 312 houses in the village.

“Some villagers struggled to rebuild houses. Now they are almost mad as their houses were torched again,” a resident told the Kyunhla humanitarian organization.

Around 7,000 residents from the two villagers have been sheltering in forests and nearby villages where resistance forces and other residents are providing food.

“The resistance groups are unable to protect villages from junta arson attacks due to a lack of proper weapons,” said an Infinity representative.

He urged the civilian National Unity Government to arm the resistance.

On November 23 troops from neighboring Khin-U Township raided Hpo Kone village, burning eight civilian houses and a school in the village of 130 houses.

Soldiers on November 24 burned around 77 out of 180 houses in nearby Thoutkan village, injuring Maung Kyaw Swar Tun, 14, and his grandfather U Aye Saung, 85, according to Kyunhla.

“Previously junta soldiers mainly targeted young people, accusing them of being resistance fighters. Now they attack children and senior citizens. No one dares to stay in the village during the raids,” a Kantbalu resident told the group.

Thousands of civilians have been displaced in the township and food and medicines are urgently needed, Kyunhla reported.