Troops used drones to track locals’ location and fired at them with long-range artillery
Published on Apr 21, 2021
Five civilians were killed and five more injured after a shootout between the coup regime’s troops and locals armed with hunting rifles in Yinmabin Township, Sagaing Region, on Tuesday.
Following the clash, rumours circulated that 10 locals had died. Myanmar Now was able to confirm one death on Tuesday evening, and four more on Wednesday morning.
“It’s not true that there were 10 deaths. We’re in touch with the leaders,” a relief worker from Yinmabin told Myanmar Now.
The five casualties were Bo San, Aung San Oo, Aung Naing, Zaw Myo Aung, and Kyaw Myo Tun. They were from the villages of Win Kone, Kapaing-Theekone and Kyobin.
The fighting with locals broke out after some 200 soldiers stationed themselves on the road to the Alaungdaw Kathapa pagoda near Kapaing village.
While the locals defended themselves using traditional hunting rifles, troops took up positions beyond their range, using drones to track the villagers’ locations and fire at them with long-range artillery.
Relief workers were only able to retrieve the body of Bo San, who had suffered multiple injuries in the shelling.
At the time of reporting, Myanmar Now was still gathering further information about the five men who were killed in Yinmabin, but due to the lack of internet access to the region, such independent verification has been difficult. The ruling junta cut off mobile internet nationwide in March.
Around 10,000 residents from at least 17 villages had fled their homes due to the clashes and were hiding in the jungle, the relief worker said.
Residents in Sagaing Region’s Kalay, Kani, Tamu, Taze and Yinmabin townships have been resisting the regime’s attacks since the military began indiscriminate crackdowns on protests across the country following the February 1 coup.