At least ten people, including a number of PDF fighters, were killed after five military helicopters launched airstrikes over Yae Myat village in Sagaing’s Ye U township on Monday evening.
In an audaciously warped response, state media heralded the violence as a successful attack upon an inter-regional summit of various revolutionary factions that had been terrorizing villagers, whilst failing to acknowledge any casualties by its own hand.
Villagers recounted how security forces blocked exits to the village before opening fire at those trapped inside from the air, as a flight of helicopters strafed civilians.
Local sources told DVB how dozens of civilians were killed and injured whilst fleeing a hail of bullets.
A resident of Yae Myat confirmed that at least ten people, including villagers and PDF members, were killed and said that the final number could be higher.
“A man with a psychological illness was killed after becoming engulfed by flames. Troops circled the village in trucks, whilst fully armed soldiers deployed at [nearby] U Yin and Kaw Sat Kone villages. The number of dead may be higher as nobody yet dares to return to the Yae Myat. As many ran for their own safety, a lot of people scattered and have since gone missing—people are not sure if their family members are alive or dead,” another resident told DVB.
“I think the whole village has been turned to ash due to troops setting fire to villager’s houses.”
On Monday night, whilst failing to allude to the airstrikes and destruction, the state-owned MRTV channel was quick to implausibly announce that military forces had led the raid after receiving credible intelligence suggesting that over 100 people—including PDF, CDF, NLD, and KIA members—had gathered in Yae Myat for a summit on the morning of the attack.
Providing an account utterly at odds with reports received by DVB, junta television said that ground troops had led a raid on revolutionary forces in Yae Myat at 1 p.m., discovering the already expired corpses of four PDF fighters, plus weapons and improvised explosive devices.
Inverting reality, MRTV further claimed that security forces had carefully protected civilians and their homes from PDF groups, whose violence had caused villagers to flee.
Ye-U PDF labelled state media’s story as “disinformation”.
Those affected by the attacks in Ye U are in desperate need of food, shelter, and warm clothes, local news outlet, the Mawkun Magazine, reported. Sources say that a number of severely injured people may still be trapped inside the village by troops.