At least eight homes were destroyed by military shells during fighting with the People’s Defence Force (PDF) in Sagaing Region.
According to a local, the fighting began after the PDF attacked a column of 100 soldiers guarding military vessels on the Irrawaddy River passing by Moetar Lay village on the morning of 8 November. Civilians fled when the army began attacking Moetar Lay with artillery shells.
One villager told KNG that they had all returned to their homes only a couple of days after fleeing violence between the PDF and the Burma Army (BA) on 28 October.
Locals told the KNG that the BA detained a Katha man and forced him to lead them in the region.
British writer George Orwell, whose real name is Eric Arthur Blair, lived in Katha when he worked as a policeman during the colonial period. The town is widely regarded as the inspiration for the fictional town of ‘Kyauktada’ in his first novel Burmese Days, published in 1934.
Junta forces have abducted many civilians and forced them to work for them during the waves of violence in Sagaing Region that have intensified since last month. Many soldiers have been deployed to the area as part of a large scale offensive to suppress resistance in the region and neighbouring Chin State, which has led to massive displacement of civilians.
PDF claimed to have killed about 50 soldiers in the fighting in Pinlebu Township in Sagaing Region on 5-6 September, while losing 5 of their own men in the battle.