More than 7,000 people flee patrolling Burma army military column in Khin-Oo Township
A military column of Burma army (BA) and Pyusawhtee People’s Militia Force (Pyusawhtee PMF) have been patrolling in western and eastern Khin-Oo Township of Sagaing Region since 8 May. The soldiers from the military column had been firing their weapons indiscriminately in villages during their patrols, according to local sources.
More than 7,000 people from seven villages in Khin-Oo Township have fled from their homes to avoid coming into contact with the patrolling soldiers and in anticipation that there would be fighting in the area.
“The BA and Pyusawhtee PMF soldiers have been firing their guns when they enter into villages. They have patrolled in both the western and the eastern parts of Khin-Oo Township. Local people have fled from their homes,” an officer working with Khin-Oo Township information department told KNG.
Local people have fled from at least seven villages in Khin-Oo Township: Kabwet and Koat Tac villages in eastern Khin-Oo Township and Mya Kan, Inn-Pat, Kon Tha, Aung Tha, and Inn-Pouk villages in western Khin-Oo Township.
A soldier from the local People’s Defense Force said that they attacked the BA military column with landmines between Kabwet and Koat Tac villages.
“Our troops attacked the military column with landmines between Kabwet and Koat Tac. They have suffered many causalities. One of our PDF soldiers was also killed during the clashes. After suffering many causalities, the BA soldiers set fire to civilians houses in two villages,” a PDF soldier told KNG.
An officer from the local PDF told KNG that a PDF soldier was killed and another PDF soldier was wounded during the clash. The officer told KNG that the BA soldiers set fire to civilian houses in Kabwet and Koat Tac villages.
KNG is unable to independently verify the number of casualties or extent of property damage following the recent clashes in Khin-Oo Township.
On 19 March, Data For Myanmar reported that 47,778 civilian houses have been set on fire by BA soldiers in Sagaing Region between 1 February 2021 and 28 February 2023.