Hundreds of homes in a historic Christian village in the Sagaing Region of Myanmar have been burned down in a renewed attack by the military (Tatmadaw).
More than two thirds of the estimated 500 homes in Chan Thar were destroyed on 7 June, the second raid on the village in a month.
On 7 May at least 20 homes were set on fire by troops, causing thousands of residents to flee.
In the latest raid the army bombarded Chan Thar with artillery shells before soldiers went from house to house setting them on fire.
“The villagers were seen crying as they witnessed their homes go up in smoke,” said a local source.
Chan Thar and the historic communities of Chaung Yeo and Monhia are known as Bayingyi villages where inhabitants are descended from Christians who settled in the area in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
On 20 May the army burned down almost all the 350 homes in Chaung Yeo, forcing hundreds of its Christian residents to flee.
The military, which seized power in Buddhist-majority Myanmar in February 2021, has for many years persecuted the country’s Christian minority, estimated to make up 6.2% of the population.