More than 30 dead, bodies burned in Myanmar

More than 30 people were killed and their bodies burned on Friday in conflict-torn Kayah state, according to a resident, media and a local human rights group.

Burned-out vehicles found in the town of Hpruso, Kayah state, on Christmas Day.
Photo: AFP / Karenni Nationalities Defense Force

The Karenni Human Rights Group said it found the burnt bodies of internally displaced people, including the elderly, women and children who they say were killed by the army that rules Myanmar.

The macabre find was discovered on Saturday near the village of Mo So in the city of Hpruso.

“We strongly denounce the inhuman and brutal killings which violate human rights,” the Karenni group said in a Facebook post.

International charity Save the Children also condemned the attack, saying two of its employees were involved in the incident and are now missing.

The Burmese army said it had shot dead an unknown number of “armed terrorists” from the opposition armed forces in the village, state media reported. People were in seven vehicles and did not stop for the military, he said.

The Burmese military could not be reached immediately for comment.

Photos shared by the human rights group and local media showed the charred remains of bodies on burnt out trucks.

The Karenni National Defense Force, one of the largest of several civilian militias opposed to the junta that carried out a February 1 coup, said the dead were not their members but civilians seeking refuge from the dispute.

“We were so shocked to see that all the corpses were different sizes, including children, women and the elderly,” said a group commander. Reuters, asking not to be named.

A villager who asked not to be named for security reasons said he was aware of the fire on Friday evening, but was unable to attend because there had been incidents. shots.

“I went to look this morning. I saw corpses that had been burned, as well as children’s and women’s clothes scattered around,” he said. Reuters by telephone.

Save the Children said two of its Myanmar workers were returning home for the holidays after carrying out humanitarian response work in a nearby community.

Their private vehicle was attacked and set on fire, and the staff are still missing.

Save the Children New Zealand’s director of advocacy and research Jacqui Southey said the violence was inhumane and could not be tolerated.

Meanwhile, fighting in another part of the country, near the Thai border, where the Burmese military continues to clash with a rebel group, caused a house on the Thai side of the border to be damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade, with no deaths or injuries, Thai authorities said on Saturday.

Burmese army carried out airstrikes a day earlier in an area controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU) near the border, in an escalation of fighting that erupted last week and has since driven thousands to Thailand.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the elected government of Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi almost 11 months ago, citing fraud in the November election her party won. International observers said the ballot was fair.

Civilians enraged by the coup and the subsequent crackdown on protesters took up arms. Many local resistance forces have sprung up across the country.

The military has banned many opponents, labeling them traitors or terrorists, including a self-proclaimed national unity government that seeks to pressure the international community and prevent the junta from consolidating its power.

Reuters / RNZ

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