Freedom Memoirs – Day 347

We reported yesterday that junta’s forces had surrounded and abducted villagers of Ohmnauk Village in Pale Township of Sagaing Region, in an attempt to find Bo Nagar. Today, Mizzima shared first-hand accounts of people who went through the traumatic experience. Regime’s soldiers used fighter jets and on-ground operation to raid the village where the meeting of local people defense forces (PDF) was held on the morning of January 10. Those that were detained alive were stripped off and tied to a silo before they were burned to death by junta’s troops. Some of the victims had their throats cut. One of them was Comrade Maung Myint, the brother of Bo Nagar, who was decapitated and his head was thrown off onto a roof of a toilet. At least twenty resistance fighters were killed and many villagers were missing since then, Mizzima reported.

One of the escapees of the incident said that regime’s soldiers tortured a PDF member by cutting an ear with a scissor, causing blood drainage from the wound continuously. Eventually, the witness’s name was given up as he was a logistics personnel of PDF. The witness was also immediately arrested since he could not run quickly enough to safety. During his turn, he was told to lie down with the face down and three soldiers jumped on his body in the name of “questioning”. Later, a spanner tool was placed on his shin which was hit with a hammer followed by usual hitting and beating. He too had to give up a few names due to the intense pressure, whose houses were raided and robbed of properties including cash and gold. And at least five of those who got abducted were sent to Monywa’s West-North Military Head Quarter while about 50 were taken as human shields.

Meanwhile, Bo Nagar continued to appear on social media, this time through an interview with Myanmar Now. He was heard saying in the video shared by Myanmar Now that it was now impossible for State Administration Council (SAC) to control Sagaing Region. He added that some villages in the region were still reluctant to join the battles since Sagaing was largely made up of plains, unlike the other ethnic regions that were also active in armed resistance. However, even on such flat land, junta’s forces were often second-best during clashes against local PDFs and hence they have resorted to airstrikes in retaliation. It was also mentioned in the video that local PDFs would cooperate with the National Unity Government (NUG) to respond to the junta’s air forces and Bo Nagar urged rich people to contribute funds for the revolution. 

Speaking of airstrikes, junta’s fighter jets dropped bombs in Htigyaing Township of Sagaing Region this morning around 9.30am, according to Khit Thit Media and Myanmar Now. Two jets were reportedly utilized in conducting air strikes with seven bombs in total. In addition to air bombs, heavy artilleries were also fired towards the area since 6.30am. A source said regime’s forces might have been targeting a base camp of PDF which located five miles away from Htigyaing Township. It was speculated since January 5/6 that SAC might carry out attacks from the air, so civilians had managed to build air raid shelters. 

Yesterday saw an intense clash between junta’s forces and Pyuu Saw Htee members against resistance forces in Sagaing Region’s Kalay Township. About 60 junta’s thugs who had committed arson in Kyunywar Village and went on towards Yayshin Village were met with PDF-Kalay on the way which led to a full-blown battle that lasted almost five hours until the afternoon. Five of junta’s soldiers were killed during the encounter whereas two resistance fighters were injured due to heavy weaponry, Mizzima reported. Previous battles between junta’s forces against local PDFs on Kalay-Falam Road during January 6/7 also recorded four deaths from regime’s side.

Similarly, clashes have intensified in Karen State as the attack on Bo Salone base camp of Democratic Karen Burmese Army (DKBA) continued. Karen Information Center-KIC reported that junta’s forces raided into Karen National Union (KNU)’s Brigade 6 territory by shelling heavy artilleries since early this morning, leading into violent encounter with Karen Nationality Liberation Army (KNLA) and its affiliated resistance forces near Phalu Village. It has been three days since clashes resumed in the area and about 300 people taking refuge under DKBA have been forced to flee to the Thailand side of the border. Moreover, the major of KNLA’s Brigade 5 said if Border Guard Forces (BGF) continued to assist junta’s forces that are invading towards Papon District, KNLA would be left with no option but to attack BGF in any part of its territory commencing January 15.

As a major blow to Cambodian Prime Minster Hun Sen’s efforts in legitimizing Min Aung Hlaing’s regime, the ASEAN’s Foreign Ministers Meeting in Siem Reap which junta’s Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin had so anticipated to attend on January 19 has been postponed “indefinitely” due to travel difficulties according to Cambodia foreign ministry spokesperson Koy Kuong. Bangkok Post’s article also reported that Cambodia Prak Sokhonn was expecting to be appointed special Asean envoy to the Myanmar situation at the Siem Reap meeting.

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