State Administration Council (SAC) troops launched a combined ground and air attack on the office of the Pale township’s People’s Administration Group (PAG) and the office of the local People’s Defense Force (PDF) in Myanmar’s war-torn Sagaing region, according to local sources. A PAG spokesman told RFA 11 bodies were found two days after Tuesday’s raids.
On Oct. 25, troops arrived by land and air, attacking the PAG office near Hpa Lan Pin. The bodies were found when locals were cleaning up the remains of the office on Thursday after the military column left, according to an official from Pale township’s PAG, who did not want to be named for security reasons.
“We have been cleaning the area since yesterday and found 11 bodies in the burned office buildings of the People’s Administration Group,” the official said.
“Children were found among the bodies… I strongly believe [they] were shot dead by the junta troops,” he said, adding that the ages and names are still being verified.
The 11 were prisoners who had been released from the PAG office but ran into junta troops who shot them, the official said.
“When the junta column stormed the office, the detainees were released and put in a vehicle but they were met by junta troops dropped from a military helicopter,” he said.
“The junta troops fired repeatedly at the detainees… People who were shot and injured, but were still alive were taken to the military’s Northwest Regional Command by helicopter.”
According to an SAC statement on Wednesday, seven women, including the detained wife of an army officer, four children and 15 men managed to escape when troops raided a PDF camp near North Yama dam at Hpa Lan Pin village in Pale township on Oct. 25.
It said others were injured when the PDF blew up the offices up as they fled the junta troops. The SAC said it rounded up the fleeing locals and gave them medical treatment. However, the PDF said its members arrested the injured and gave them medical treatment, releasing them before the junta raids.
The Pale township PAG said it was junta troops not the PDF that burned down the office. It said the people who were arrested were being held in accordance with human rights standards, rules and regulations issued by the National Unity Government (NUG).
RFA contacted Aye Hlaing, the SAC’s Social Affairs Minister and spokesman for the Sagaing regional government for comment. He told our reporter to contact the Minister of Security and Border Affairs of Sagaing region because it was a security issue.
On Oct. 11, independent research group, the Institute for Strategy and said a total of 1,512 civilians had died in Sagaing region in the 21 months since the military coup.
According to an Oct. 1 report by the United Nation Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a total of 545,200 civilians fled their homes in Sagaing region due to insecurity and fighting since the Feb. 2021 military coup.
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