Myanmar troops raid militia and administrative offices in Sagaing, leaving 11 dead
The bodies were discovered as locals cleared out the burned buildings two days after the attacks.
By RFA Burmese 2022.10.28 -- Myanmar military troops launched a combined ground and air attack on offices of anti-junta administrators and rebels in war-torn Sagaing region this week and 11 bodies have been recovered from the scene, local sources told RFA on Friday.
There were contradictory accounts from the two sides on what happened in Tuesday's raid on Hpa Lan Pin village in Pale township.
An official from the anti-junta People's Administration Group said junta troops arrived by land and air, attacking its office near Hpa Lan Pin. The 11 bodies were found when locals were cleaning up the remains of the office on Thursday after the military column left, according to the official from Pale township, who did not want to be named for security reasons.
"We have been cleaning the area since yesterday and found 11 bodies in the burned office buildings of the People's Administration Group," the official said.
"Children were found among the bodies ... I strongly believe [they] were shot dead by the junta troops," he said, adding that the ages and names are still being verified.
According to the official, the 11 were pro-junta prisoners of the local People's Defense Force, who had been freed by the junta forces but then ran into junta troops who, in the confusion, shot them.
"When the junta column stormed the office, the detainees were released and put in a vehicle but they were met by junta troops dropped from a military helicopter," the official said.
"The junta troops fired repeatedly at the detainees ... People who were shot and injured, but were still alive, were taken to the military's Northwest Regional Command by helicopter."
According to a junta statement Wednesday, seven women, including the detained wife of an army officer, four children and 15 men managed to escape when troops raided a PDF camp near North Yama dam at Hpa Lan Pin. on Tuesday.
It said others were injured when the PDF blew up the offices up as they fled the junta troops. The military said it rounded up the fleeing locals and gave them medical treatment.
The Pale township People's Administration Group said it was junta troops not the PDF that burned down the office. It said the people who had been held in accordance with human rights standards and rules issued by the shadow National Unity Government.
RFA contacted junta officials for the Sagaing region for further comment without success.
Sagaing is a center of Myanmar's civil conflict. An independent research group, the Institute for Strategy and Policy, reported this month that some 1,512 civilians have died in Sagaing in the 21 months since the military coup that toppled a civilian government.
According to an Oct. 1 report by the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a total of 545,200 civilians have fled their homes in Sagaing due to insecurity and fighting during the same period.
This story has been updated with edits throughout.
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