Fear, defiance as fighting rages in Myanmar’s north

Fear, defiance as fighting rages in Myanmar's north

SAGAING, Myanmar: Anti-coup fighters in Myanmar patrol the smouldering ruins of the burnt village after what they say was obviously a reprisal attack by junta troops striving to crush resistance to last year’s army coup.

Corrugated roofs, support beams and cooking food utensils are all that will remain amid the ash in the town in northwestern Sagaing – an area that has seen some of the fiercest fighting against the military’s power grab.

Rare footage attained by AFP displays a region wracked by violence, and criss-crossed by junta soldiers, pro-military militias and anti-coup fighters, exactly where Internet access is frequently cut by specialists.

Win Soe said junta soldiers brought destruction in order to his village associated with Tharyarkone, about 100 km west of Myanmar’s second city Mandalay, late last 30 days.

“Soldiers came to our village on the way back to their camping, ” he said.

“There have been no fighting here and they just came to destroy things : they torched 60 houses in our village, ” Win Soe said.

A group of about a dozen teenagers – some in combat fatigues, football socks and shoes, others in shorts and sandals : arrived to survey the burnt remains of the village because they patrolled the region, trailing military pushes.

The unit is definitely part of a local “People’s Defence Force” (PDF), dozens of which have jumped up in Sagaing and across the country to fight the military in an attempt to overturn the coup that this past year ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s chosen civilian government.

Often armed with a bit more than homemade weaponry and knowledge of the particular terrain, some of these groupings have surprised the particular military with their effectiveness, according to some analysts.

The zirkel has responded having an offensive that rights groups say contains razing villages, mass extra-judicial killings and airstrikes on civilians.

In May, the particular UN humanitarian company UNOCHA said a lot more than 12, 000 civilian properties were considered to have been burnt or destroyed since the hen house.

The military accuses PDF fighters – which it offers declared “terrorists” : of setting the fires and says their assassination campaigns have killed 100s including Buddhist monks, teachers and medical workers.