Residents from seven villages in Gangaw and Htilin townships in Magway Region have fled from fighting that occurred during the military’s offensives, causing an already displaced man to be killed when he attempted to flee, according to sources.
The military conducted an offensive near Lone Chone village in Gangaw Township on the morning of Aug. 22, causing a 40-minute-long clash with local defense forces to break out and injuring two PDF members, Yaw Defense Force deputy commander-in-chief Ko Phyoe told DVB.
The Burma Army deployed three columns at three villages in Gangaw and one in Htilin townships. During the operation, a military column set fire to a clinic that provided care to IDPs, a vehicle from a free funeral service, and an IDP camp in Hnan Kha village at about 4 p.m. on Aug. 21.
“Around 100 or 200 military personnel were included in each military column. Clashes might intensify due to military tensions,” Ko Phyoe told DVB.
All residents from eight villages were forced to flee to safety due to the military’s attacks.
“We have faced many difficulties, as Internet and mobile services are cut off. It is also the harvesting season, but we lost our crops as we abandoned the farms. Farmers are also leaving behind their farms while they are planting paddies,” a refugee from southern Gangaw Township told DVB.
A 50-year-old man died while he was fleeing amidst heavy rainfall due to the military’s offensive in southern Gangaw Township on Aug. 21.
“When they raided a village, they [military] destroyed everything– including furniture. They destroyed our crops, including sesame plants, and slaughtered animals we bred,” a local source said.
According to local sources, soldiers conducting offensives in the south of Gangaw Township last month robbed K100,000,000 (USD $47,551) worth of valuables and money from locals, as well as monks.
Three military personnel were killed and another seven were injured after clashes broke out in northern Pauk Township in Magway Region on the evening of Aug. 22, according to the NUG Western Region’s Brigade 7 Battalion 708. The fighting broke out because a military column consisting of 50 army personnel tried to occupy the area after it set fire to over five villages within three days.
As the number of PDF-controlled areas are increasing in Gangaw District, junta forces are attempting to reclaim territory by deploying a massive number of troops. At the same time, they set fire to villages, stole food and valuables, and arrested and killed civilians.