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Radio Free Asia

Hundreds forced to flee after troops torch homes in Magway

Troops and local pro-junta militias burned down around 100 houses in Kan Nat village.

By RFA Burmese 2022.06.24 -- More than 500 residents of Kan Nat village were forced to flee when military forces and junta-affiliated Pyu Saw Htee members torched nearly all of its 115 homes.

More than 80 soldiers and members of the affiliated militias raided the village in Magway region's Mying township on June 15, and set fire to three houses, according to local residents.

The following day they burned down more than 90 houses, leaving few homes standing, according to a resident who did not want to be named for safety reasons.

"There are about 115 houses in the village, but nearly 100 were set on fire by the military and Pyu Saw Htee groups. They had weapons and we were afraid to do anything," the resident said.

One resident told RFA that a few days earlier military troops were deployed to Kan Ni village, which is next to Kan Nat. They were ambushed by the local People's Defense Forces (PDFs).

Junta forces fired heavy artillery before they entered the village on June 15 and forced the residents to flee empty handed. When locals returned to their village to try to put out their burning homes they were forced to run for a second time when troops shelled the village again.

Soldiers also burned houses in other villages near Kan Nat.

In the past a military council spokesman has told RFA that the burning of villages in Magway region is the work of PDFs, not junta troops.

Data for Myanmar, which systematically monitors the damage to buildings and houses across the country, reported on June 7 that a total of 18,886 houses had been burned down from the day of the coup on February 1 last year to May 31, 2022. Of that total, 3,055 houses were in Magway region.

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