Residents in the Sagaing region of Myanmar said military troops burned more than 400 homes in two villages, forcing thousands of civilians to flee.
Residents of Mwe Tone and Pan villages told Radio Free Asia (RFA) on Wednesday, that nearly 10,000 people from their villages and surrounding areas fled their homes and are now taking shelter at monasteries and makeshift jungle camps.
“The military is burning down villages they think are strongholds of local PDF (People’s Defence Force) forces,” the villager from Pan said.
RFA reported that around 100 soldiers from Myaing township in the neighboring region entered the two villages and set houses on fire.
“Soldiers showed up out of the blue that night,” said one resident of Mwe Tone village who lost his house. “They acted like they would move on, but then they started burning homes.”
The resident, who spoke on anonymity due to fear of reprisal, said troops destroyed some 220 of 265 homes in Mwe Tone and nearly one-fourth of the 800 homes in Pan.
Before the arson on Monday, the anti-junta PDF militia had attacked a military outpost in Inn Ma Htee village, where troops were reportedly conducting a training exercise.
Villagers told RFA that the burning of the two villages was a form of payback for casualties the military suffered in the Inn Ma Htee village attack.
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