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4,571 civilian homes razed since Myanmar’s military seized power — Report

Junta troops have razed at least 4,571 civilian homes since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup just over a year ago, more than half of which were in the country’s embattled Sagaing region, according to a group that monitors the effect of political and armed conflicts in the Southeast Asian nation.

Research group Data for Myanmar said in a report that the military set 2,567 homes alight in Sagaing, 976 in Chin state, 626 in Magway region, 310 in Kayah state, and dozens of others in Mandalay region, southern Shan state, Tanintharyi region, Bago region and Kayin state.

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The homes were targeted in townships where anti-junta resistance in the form of prodemocracy People’s Defense Force militias and armed ethnic groups has been particularly fierce in recent months, and where the military response has been severe.

On Tuesday, watchdog group Fortify Rights urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to back a U.N. Security Council-mandated arms embargo prohibiting the sale of weapons to the junta, citing reports of military abuses in Kayah state and elsewhere that it warned could amount to war crimes.

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In interviews with RFA’s Myanmar Service, sources in the country’s remote border regions have routinely described troops using civilians as human shields and committing other abuses, including arson, arbitrary arrests, torture, sexual abuse and even murder.

Data for Myanmar said that incidents of village arson began at the end of May 2021 and peaked in October, November and December in 2021, as well as February this year. (Radio Free Asia)

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