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Monk Linked to Myanmar Junta Chief Killed in Sagaing Raid

A monk from the Sitagu Buddhist Academy, which was founded by Sitagu Sayadaw who is close to Myanmar’s junta, was among four people killed by regime troops during a raid on a village in Sagaing Township on Friday.

On Friday morning soldiers and pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia members raided Depayin Kwal village in Sagaing Region.

Several resistance groups defending the village retreated due to their lack of weapons, said Sagaing District People’s Defense Force.

During the raid, Ashin Gadarthara, one of Sitagu’s 10 patron saint monks, was killed at the Shwegu monastery in the village.

The Sitagu Buddhist Academy was founded by Sitagu Sayadaw Ashin Nyanissara, one of regime leader Min Aung Hlaing’s favorite monks.

Ashin Gadarthara and Ma Khin Su Mon killed by regime forces at Depayin Kwal village in Sagaing Township on Friday. / Ko Thet Gyi Facebook

He praised the junta chief as a “king” and head of state of great generosity and wisdom in March last year. Sitagu Sayadaw has remained tight-lipped about junta atrocities.

Resident Ma Khin Su Mon was also killed after she was found hiding in the monastery basement, a resident told The Irrawaddy.

Both were shot in the head or neck, according to sources.

Two resistance fighters were killed while defending the village.

Around 70 houses were burned down by regime forces.

The raid came after a heavy clash between regime forces and resistance groups in the adjacent pro-regime village of Kywe Pon on Thursday.

Myanmar’s junta faces near-daily attacks from resistance groups and many ethnic armed organizations across the country.

Junta atrocities include arbitrary killings, burning people alive, massacres, extrajudicial killings of detainees, using civilian detainees as human shields and looting and burning houses, artillery and airstrikes on residential areas and acts of sexual violence.

By Friday, 2,707 people had been killed by junta forces and 16,992 people, including government leaders, have been detained since the 2021 coup, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.