CHRO

The destruction of Thantlang

One of the last persons to leave Thantlang as it was burning on October 29 describes what he saw on the day more than 190 houses Thanlang were burned to the ground.

(I remained in Than Tlaang because I needed to keep my mother company as she refused to leave
town. She felt that she couldn’t leave the town like everybody did, and that God will protect her
from all dangers. It was the morning of October 26. They came into town from their base above
Thaan Tlaang. They fired heavy weapons through their way into the middle of town. They came
directly to the place near I was hiding, where there was rice stock of at least 300 bags in the storage.

I saw them breaking into the storage and carrying them away. They spent the whole day carrying the
rice bags. They did so the next day, and the next day. They also broke into other shops nearby.
It was around 10 a.m on October 29 when the fighting started. They were seen breaking into the
shops and the CDF patrol started shooting at them. No house was burning yet. Just moments later I
saw houses engulfed in plumes of smokes from the lower floor of our house where we were hiding. I
heard two soldiers coming beside our house on a motorbike and stopped to chat. Just minutes later,
I can hear the cracking up sound of fire burning right near our house. I heard them talking to each
other in Burmese but couldn’t make of exactly what was said.

They were actually torching the houses across from our house. One bike was going up the town. I am 100 percent sure those soldiers came to the houses because there was no gunfire sound at the time, meaning there was no fighting at the time fire started burning. I am certain they also started the fire, which started from the houses near the church.

We spent the whole day hoping our house didn’t catch fire. It wasn’t until around 9 in the evening
that members of the CDF and CNA came to fetch us. The assisted my half-paralyzed mother walk out
of our house to safety. Fire was burning all the places near our house then)

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