Hundreds of civilians dead in Myanmar’s embattled Sagaing region since coup

FAW Jiefang CA-1122J military truck of Myanmar Army

FAW Jiefang CA-1122J military truck of Myanmar Army. Photo: TTL(Facebook). CC0 1.0.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in northwest Myanmar’s Sagaing region since the military seized power, as the area has become a center of armed resistance to the junta over the past 10 months.

According to an investigation by RFA’s Myanmar Service, at least 414 civilians have died since the Feb. 1 coup, including 309 people who were killed at the hands of security forces. The anti-junta Peoples’ Defense Force (PDF) has killed 105 civilians, many of whom it claims were local administrators acting as informants to the military.

The single most deadly crackdown in the region took place in Kalay city’s Tarhan ward, near the border with Chin state, when soldiers and armed police stormed anti-junta protesters barricaded inside Fort Tarhan on March 28 and April 7. At least 18 people died and many others were injured or arrested in the raids.

A member of the Mingin township PDF, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, told RFA that the incidents convinced him that he needed to do more than protest but to fight back against the junta with weapons.

“We would only be able to ask for peace if we had guns to counter theirs,” he said.

“We launched the resistance so that the oppression ends here, and our children will not suffer like us. When men joined the resistance, older women who could not join the fight took off their earrings and offered them to us to buy weapons. Even the women were very enthusiastic about the resistance in Sagaing region.”

Full story:

Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Joshua Lipes.

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