The military struggles to crush resistance to its rule in Myanmar has resulted in hundreds of buildings being destroyed during a three-day raid in the country s north, local media and residents said.
Since the coup last year, the region has seen fierce fighting and bloody reprisals, with local People's Defence Force PDF members clashing regularly with junta troops.
Analysts say the informal militia has surprised junta forces with its effectiveness, and the military has called in air strikes to support its troops on the ground.
Locals and media reports said that troops torched hundreds of buildings in the villages of Kinn, Upper Kinn and Ke Taung over three days last week.
On May 26, villagers in Kinn fled as soldiers approached and began shooting into the air, said one resident who requested anonymity.
The next morning we saw smoke coming from our village before they left.
Over 200 houses were burned down. The house was completely burned down, only the concrete foundation is left. The drone footage that purported to show the aftermath showed columns of smoke rising into the sky from the villages, set along a roughly 8 km five-mile stretch of the Chindwin River.
A health clinic in the video matched the location of a health clinic in Ke Taung village.
Digital verification reporters with Agence France-Presse confirmed that the footage had not appeared online before last week, but could not independently verify reports from the region.
Aye Tin, a Ke Taung villager who requested to use a pseudonym, said soldiers raided and destroyed our houses.
They also burned motor boats that we use for transport and for carrying food for our village, including my boat.
My life is ruined as I lost my home and I have nothing left to do for a living. Satellite images from Nasa showed fires in locations that matched Ke Taung and Kinn villages last week.
The junta has previously rebuffed claims that its troops have torched houses, accusing terrorist PDF fighters of starting the fires.
The junta chief Min Aung Hlaing said in a speech on Tuesday that efforts were made to minimise the casualties as much as possible in order to counteract terror acts Now, the country is in tranquillity, according to state media.