Residents of Yae Myet, Ye-U County, Sagaing region, said their village was burnt down by junta troops on Wednesday, two days after it was hit by an airstrike.
Regime forces attacked the village, located about 30 km northwest of Ye-U town, on Monday in five helicopters, forcing most of its residents to flee.
“They surrounded the village in all four directions and started shooting. They focused on the eastern and western parts of the village. So much has been destroyed, ”said one villager who managed to escape.
On Wednesday, residents of Yae Myet said they could see smoke and flames rising from the village from around 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A number of buildings were also set on fire on Monday, they added.
Meanwhile, around 5,000 people from neighboring villages, including Gwet, Naypukone, Euyin, Natgyikone and Sinthaykone, have also been displaced by the attacks.
“They were shooting both from the air and from the ground, so everyone in Gwet had to run. Some returned later when the shooting stopped, but had to flee again when soldiers stationed at Yae Myet opened fire on them, ”said a villager from Gwet.
According to the villager, the army has been carrying out operations in the northern, southern and western areas of Yae Myet since the raid on Monday.
A woman who was working in a nearby field when the assault began said she and a few others hid on a farm for about two hours while junta troops carried out their attack.
“We could see the flashes of their guns. They were shooting non-stop. They even used artillery and machine guns. It was so loud, ”she said.
Sources told Myanmar Now that around 40 sick and elderly people were left behind in the attack. They were told to leave on Wednesday morning, the sources said.
On Tuesday, the junta released a statement saying it had targeted Yae Myet because it had received information that resistance forces were holding a meeting there.
According to the statement, the Kachin Independence Army and about 100 members of the anti-regime People’s Defense Forces attended the meeting.
He added that four people were captured and killed in the raid, but did not mention the use of helicopters to carry out the attack.
Residents said the number of people killed was likely much higher, but could not confirm this as they were unable to return to the village.
A similar raid on the village of Hnan Khar in the Magway region last Friday reportedly left at least 20 people dead. However, the locals who returned when the soldiers withdrew a few days later only managed to recover nine bodies.
Earlier this month, the military used heavy artillery and an attack helicopter to launch an assault on a group of five villages in Depayin Township, near Ye-U.
On Tuesday, residents of Son Kone, Depayin County, discovered the bodies of three residents, including a child, who appeared to have been tortured and executed by soldiers who occupied the village over the weekend.