Myanmar Military Turns Region Into War Zone

Yaw Region, once a haven of peace and tranquility, is now a war zone with civilian resistance fighters battling Myanmar’s military regime.
Local people in Yaw – which comprises Gangaw, Hteelin, Saw, and Kyukhtu townships in Magwe Region and which is located between the Pongtaung-Ponnya mountain range on the western banks of the Chindwin River and the Chin Hills – are rebelling against military rule with whatever weapons they have.
Most of the villages in Yaw support the National League for Democracy Party, whose government was ousted by the Myanmar military in a February 1 coup. But the area is also home to military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party strongholds, where Pyu Saw Htee groups – militia trained and armed by the junta – are active.
Civilian resistance fighters in Yaw have only traditional hunting rifles to battle junta forces, who significantly outnumber them. As a result, the number of civilian deaths, displaced people, and homes destroyed in junta raids is increasing.
The memory of what happened on September 9 in Myin Thar, a large village in Yaw with a population of 3,800 people, will haunt the villagers for the rest of their life. It was a tragic and painful sight for people resisting the military regime.
On the morning of September 9, Myin Thar was thrown into chaos after locals heard that junta troops were torching nearby Thar Lin Village, located to the west of Myin Thar on the opposite bank of the Myitthar River.
Then, junta troops and armed men in sports shorts came across the bridge that links Thar Lin and Myin Thar villages. A firefight erupted at 10 am between civilian resistance fighters and the regime forces. The resistance fighters were forced to withdraw after the junta troops used heavy weapons.
A total of 18 people, including teenage boys and senior citizens, died in Myin Thar on September 9, and some 20 houses were burned down by the junta forces.
“We formed a defense group out of fear that our village might be raided and torched. We defended for around 45 minutes with traditional hunting rifles after they opened fire on us. We are upset,” said one villager

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