Five villagers were killed and 20 others went missing on Sunday in an operation by the junta government in Wetlet Township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region. Irrawaddy reported this information quoting locals.

The Waitlet Township People’s Defense Force (PDF) said about 50 junta soldiers from the 42nd Infantry Battalion, based in Shabo under the 33 Division, arrived in two trucks in Iwathargi village on Sunday and started firing indiscriminately.

“Seven houses were burnt yesterday (Sunday) and five more houses were burnt today (Monday),” a Waitlet Township PDF fighter told the Irrawaddy on Monday. Junta soldiers dumped the bodies of slain villagers as they burned houses. We heard that around 20 villagers are also missing. But we don’t know why.’

About 150 villagers are trapped as they cannot escape. The junta government is said to be holding them for questioning.

Another resident said, “Janta soldiers have been deployed to the village school and they have called the villagers for questioning.”

Ewathargi is a large village of about 1,000 houses located at the junction of the roads to Mandalay, Shabo and Moniwa west of Waitlet Township. Military regime troops raided the village for no apparent reason, as there had been no fighting near the village prior to the raid.

Junta troops and police stationed in Hla Tao village also raided another village in Wetlet on Sunday. Also shelled nearby villages.

Sunday’s operation in Iwathargi was the fourth since last year’s coup. About 4,000 villagers, as well as residents of neighboring villages, were forced to flee their homes due to these raids.

Junta soldiers also torched an electrical equipment shop and stole 30 million kyats and 800 gold worth of gold from a rice mill in the village, residents said.

The Adventure Youth Drone Unit said local resistance groups launched three drone strikes against junta forces in Iwathargi on Sunday. However, the number of government casualties is still unknown.

(September 27)