A junta blockade imposed on the town of Seikphyu in Magway Region is leading to shortages of food and other necessities, according to local sources.
All roads in and out of the town, located near the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Yaw rivers, have been blocked since July 12, the sources said.
Rice and cooking oil are in increasingly short supply in the town and the surrounding area as regime forces continue to conduct searches of vehicles carrying the basic commodities, they added.
Medicine and other items, such as top-up cards for mobile phones, have also been running out due to the restrictions, a spokesperson for the Seikphyu People’s Defence Force (PDF) told Myanmar Now.
“They’re just trying to make life more difficult for us,” he said, adding that the measures appear to be in preparation for a planned junta offensive in the area.
Locals say that around 2,000 people have been displaced since the military began carrying out attacks near Seikphyu nearly two weeks ago.
On July 14, two days after they closed roads linking Seikphyu to neighbouring Pakokku Township, regime forces raided Taung Ywar Ma, a village on the border between the two townships, according to the Seikphyu PDF spokesperson.
Internet access was also cut off in Seikphyu Township on the same day, he added.
Junta troops torched at least four houses during that raid, but also suffered several casualties when they were hit by explosives as they left the village, the PDF spokesperson said.
After spending the night in Taung Ywar Ma, the regime column proceeded to attack Sike Hkam, a village a short distance to the north, early the next day. It then crossed the Yaw River to Hseng Phyu, a village in Pakokku Township, where they torched at least 20 houses, according to the PDF spokesperson.
The column did not leave the area for Pakokku until Monday of this week, he added.
Residents of the area said that while some displaced civilians have since returned to their homes in the northern part of Seikphyu, many from outlying villages are still sheltering in makeshift camps.
Source – Myanmar Now