Violence in the northwest is the latest in a series of military strikes that forced thousands to flee the Chinese state on Wednesday.
Security forces in Myanmar’s Sagaing region have blamed an unknown number of civilians for fleeing their villages, setting houses on fire and firing on residents.
According to The Irrawaddy News website, on Thursday – a day after the killing of two police officers and their families – government troops set fire to a village in the town of Taj, northwest of Mandalay.
A series of pictures posted on social media show thick black smoke rising from the tree-lined area, identified by The Irrawaddy as Kyokon Village. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the violence.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the Aung San Suu Kyi-led government in February, sparking a nationwide insurgency that has sought to suppress the military.
Violence erupted in Sagaing just a day after thousands of people fled the Chinese state near the Indian border after fighting between army coups and the army.
Attacks on the army have escalated since lawmakers expelled by the generals called for a “people’s defensive war” earlier this month.
Army spokesman Zhao Minh Thun said on Tuesday, without giving casualty figures, that troops were fighting about 100 members of the local defense group after the September 1 “panic” in Thantlang, China.
He added that 20 houses and a government building were destroyed in a fire after the clashes, without mentioning the cause.
Irrawaddy reported on Wednesday that thousands of residents had fled their homes after Saturday’s shelling.
A local, who did not want to be named, told the AFP news agency on Monday that residents began fleeing after troops began firing randomly at windows in homes around the city.
“Almost everyone has left,” he said, adding that he had taken refuge with 500 others in a nearby village, and that hundreds had already fled to India.
Another resident said he traveled for three days to reach India with his elderly parents after soldiers bombed his home and fighting escalated around the city.
He told AFP on condition of anonymity that “I did not intend to flee my home after the army bombing …
Myanmar’s junta forces set fire to the village of Kyokon in Taje Township in the Sagaing region on Thursday, killing a married couple who were police officers and their families on Wednesday. All the residents fled after the junta opened fire.
Photo: CJ #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/r9kAic9pza
– The Irrawaddy (English) (r Irrawaddy News) September 23, 2021
Residents across the border in the Indian state of Mizoram say about 2,000 refugees have arrived from China since September 10.
A resident of Thingsai village told AFP through a translator that on September 10, villagers heard gunshots and bombings at the border. Another said villagers had seen military planes drop bombs.
A refugee who passed away on September 15 said he cycled for three days to get to Mizoram. “We are very scared after the bombing. We had to flee. My two children came back to fight the military and protect our people, ”said the man, who declined to be named.
As seen in the videos and photos released to the media, the buildings in Thantlong are said to have been destroyed by the army and the livestock are roaming the deserted streets.
In recent weeks, anti-coup fighters have attacked military-owned Mittal’s communication towers across the country, including China.
The United Nations has warned that renewed fighting in the region is forcing more people to flee to India, where they urgently need food and shelter.
In May, government forces used artillery to drive the rebels out of the southern Chinese city of Mindat and later cut off its water supply, according to a spokesman for the local armed group.
More than 1,100 civilians have been killed and about 8,000 arrested since the coup, according to local observers.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won a landslide victory in late 2010, and the military defended her power by accusing her of widespread fraud during the election.