BANGKOK – Myanmar government soldiers raided a small northwestern village, surrounded civilians, tied their hands and then burned them alive in apparent retaliation for an attack on a military convoy, according to witnesses and other reports. According.
A video after Tuesday’s attack showed the charred bodies of 11 victims, some of whom were believed to be juveniles, among the remains of a hut in Don Taw village of Sagaing area.
Outrage spread on social media after seemingly graphic images of increasingly brutal military strikes were shared on social media in an effort to quell anti-government resistance following the military takeover in February.
Human Rights Watch on Thursday called on the international community to ensure that commanding commanders are added to the list of targeted sanctions and, more broadly, steps up efforts to cut off any sources of funding for the military Go.
“Our contacts are saying it was just boys and young people who were villagers who were caught in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Manny Maung, a spokesman for the group.
He said such incidents have been happening regularly, but it was caught on camera.
“This incident is quite shameless, and it happened in an area that had to be found and seen to scare people,” she said.
The images could not be independently verified, but an account given to the Associated Press by a man who said he was present at the time matched descriptions of the incident carried by independent Myanmar media.
The government denied that it had any soldiers in the area.
The military expulsion of Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government was initially met with nonviolent street protests, but after police and soldiers responded with lethal force, violence escalated as opponents of the military regime took up arms in self-defense.
The Dun Taw killings were condemned by Myanmar’s underground national unity government, which has positioned itself as the country’s alternative administration in place of a military-established government.
The organization’s spokesman, Dr. Sasa, said a military convoy was hit by a roadside bomb and the soldiers retaliated, first shelling Dun Tow, then attacking the village they could capture, besieging them .
He said the age of the victims is between 14 and 40 years.
“The painful scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State terrorist group are witness to the escalation of the military’s acts of terror,” he said in a statement.
“The sheer brutality, barbarism and brutality of these acts reflect a new depth of corruption, and prove that, despite the pretense of kinship it has seen over the past few months, the Junta has never been able to reduce its campaign of violence.” There was no intention,” said Sassa, who uses a name.
The witness who spoke to the AP said that around 50 soldiers barged into Don Taw village around 11 a.m. on Tuesday and nabbed anyone who couldn’t manage to escape.
“They arrested 11 innocent villagers,” said the witness, who described himself as a farmer and an activist and asked to remain anonymous for his own safety,
He said those captured were not members of the locally organized People’s Defense Force, which sometimes engages the military in combat. He said that the prisoners’ hands were tied behind them and they were set on fire.
He did not specify the reason for the soldiers’ attack.
Other witnesses cited in Myanmar media said the victims were members of a defense force, although a witness speaking to the AP described them as members of a less formally organized village protection group.
In recent months, fighting has intensified in Sagaing and other northwestern areas, where the military has used more force against resistance than in urban centres.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed deep concern over reports of the “horrific killing of 11 people” and strongly condemned such violence, saying “credible reports indicate that five children were among those killed.”
Dujarric reminded Myanmar military officials of their obligations under international law to ensure the safety and security of civilians and held those responsible “for this heinous act”.
He reiterated the UN’s condemnation of the violence by Myanmar’s security forces and stressed that it calls for a unified international response. As of Wednesday, he said security forces have killed more than 1,300 unarmed individuals, including more than 75 children, through the use of deadly force or while in their custody, since the military takeover on February 1.
The charges follow Suu Kyi’s conviction on Monday on charges of inciting and violating coronavirus restrictions and serving a four-year prison sentence, which was quickly halved. The court action was widely criticized as another attempt by military rulers to take back the democratic gains of recent years.
In New York, the UN Security Council on Wednesday expressed “deep concern” over Suu Kyi’s sentencing, removed President Win Myint and others and reiterated previous calls for the release of all those arbitrarily detained.
“The members of the Security Council once again emphasized their continued support for democratic transformation in Myanmar, and the need to uphold democratic institutions and processes, abstain from violence, constructive dialogue and reconciliation in accordance with the wishes and interests of the people. of Myanmar, fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and uphold the rule of law,” a statement from the council said.