Eight members of a People’s Defence Force (PDF) group based in Sagaing Region’s Myinmu Township were killed during a raid by junta forces on Tuesday, a leader of the group said.
The attack was carried out by troops stationed near Alakapa, a village about 15 minutes from where the PDF base was located, a squadron commander from Battalion 2 of the Sagaing District PDF told Myanmar Now.
The base was operated by the Black Eagle Defence Force, which serves as the local PDF’s Battalion 1, he added. Than Zaw Oo, its squadron commander, was among those killed.
“They started the assault at around 4am. The base was where the PDF troops rested after attacking the enemy with explosives,” he said.
The group lost two of its members in a similar attack in February.
Lam Bo, a member of the Black Eagle Defence Force, said that the base was in a vulnerable location.
“It was a scouting station—the closest one to Alakapa on the side of the Monywa-Mandalay road,” he said, adding that the group was still compiling a list of casualties.
Several villages along the Monywa-Mandalay road have been subjected to raids by regime forces since the beginning of the month, according to local defence groups active in the area.
La Pyae, a spokesperson for the Burma Phoenix Organization, another group based in Myinmu Township, said that junta troops have destroyed nearly 2,000 houses in the villages of Nyaungbinshae, Kantaw and Malethar in recent weeks.
“They enter the villages from the forests. They don’t use roads connecting the villages anymore. They also come across fields,” he said.
Even before the recent escalation of attacks on local civilians, more than 7,500 houses had been burned down by regime soldiers in Sagaing Region as of May 1, according to monitor group Data for Myanmar.