State media say clashes in the village of Ayeyarwady region caused three deaths, while local media say up to 20 civilians were killed.
Fighting between Myanmar security forces and villagers armed with catapults and crossbows in the Ayeyarwady River Delta region has left at least three people dead, state media reported, although local media reported that they were killed. up to 20 people.
State television news said three “terrorists” had been killed and two arrested Saturday in the village of Hlayswe as security forces were about to arrest a man accused of plotting against the state.
A military government spokesman did not respond to calls from Reuters news agency for comments on the violence in the village of Ayeyarwady municipality in Kyonpyaw. Reuters was unable to confirm the toll independently.
Myanmar has been in chaos and its economy paralyzed since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in February, citing unfounded allegations of fraud during the 2020 elections.
Clashes erupted before Saturday morning in Hlayswe, about 150 km (100 miles) northwest of the main city of Yangon, when soldiers said they had come for weapons, at least four media reported. locals and a resident.
“The people of the village only have crossbows and there are many victims next to the people,” said the resident, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation.
Khit Thit Media and the Delta News Agency said 20 civilians had been killed and more injured. They said villagers had tried to fight with catapults after soldiers attacked residents.
MRTV state television said security forces had been attacked with compressed air guns and darts. After the shooting, the bodies of three attackers had been found, he said.
If confirmed, the toll given by local media would be the highest in a day in almost two months.
Local “defense forces”
According to an activist group, some 845 people had been previously killed by the army and police since the February coup. The military government is debating this figure.
Several communities in Myanmar, especially in municipalities that have seen a high number of deaths at the hands of police during the protests, have formed local “defense forces”.
But they are often outnumbered and outnumbered in clashes with the Myanmar military, one of the toughest and most brutal in Southeast Asia.
Since the coup, conflicts have also spread to border areas, where some two dozen ethnic armies have been fighting the state for decades.
The anti-military Shwegu People’s Defense Force said it had attacked a police station north of Shwegu on Friday afternoon along with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
Reuters was unable to reach KIA for comment.
In eastern Myanmar, the MBPDF (Mobye People’s Defense Force) said it had clashed with the army on Friday and that four “terrorist soldiers” had been killed.
Despite the turmoil, the Myanmar army has shown little sign of answering calls from its opponents to relinquish possession.
This week, the military government received its first renowned foreign visitors: the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the two ASEAN envoys.
Protesters in Mandalay’s second city, Myanmar, burned an ASEAN flag on Saturday and accused the group of giving legitimacy to the military government.