Myanmar troops burn 11 people alive in retaliation
Myanmar government troops stormed a small town in the northwest, gathered 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.
A video of the aftermath of Tuesday’s attack showed the charred bodies of 11 victims, some believed to be teenagers, lying in a circle in the middle of what appeared to be the remains of a hut in the village of Done Taw in the region of Sagaing.
The outrage spread as graphic images were shared on social media in what appeared to be the latest in an increasingly brutal military attack in an attempt to stifle anti-government resistance following the army’s takeover. in February.
Human Rights Watch on Thursday called on the international community to ensure that commanders who gave the order are added to the list of targeted sanctions and, more broadly, step up efforts to cut off any source of funding. in the army.
“Our contacts say it was just boys and young people who were villagers who were trapped in the wrong place at the wrong time,” a group spokeswoman, Manny Maung, said.
He added that similar incidents have occurred regularly, but that this was captured by the camera.
“This incident is quite blatant and happened in an area that was meant to be found and seen to scare people,” he said.
The images could not be independently verified, but a report was given to The Associated Press by a person who said he was present when they were taken generally coincides with descriptions of the incident by Myanmar’s independent media.
The government has denied having troops in the area.
The military removal of the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi initially clashed with nonviolent street protests, but after police and soldiers responded with lethal force, violence escalated as opponents of the military government they took up arms in self-defense.
The killings in Don Taw were denounced by the Government of Clandestine National Unity of Myanmar, which has established itself as the country’s alternative administration instead of the government-installed government.
The organization’s spokesman, Dr. Sasa said a military convoy had been hit by a roadside bomb and that troops retaliated by first bombing Done Taw, then attacking the village, running over anyone they could capture.
He said the victims were between 14 and 40 years old.
“Disgusting scenes reminiscent of the Islamic State terrorist group testified to the escalation of its acts of terror by the military,” it said in a statement.
“The brutality, savagery and cruelty of these acts show a new depth of depravity and show that, despite the claim of relative relaxation observed in recent months, the board never had any intention of scaling up its campaign of violence.” . said Sasa, who uses a name.
The witness who spoke to AP said about 50 soldiers marched on the village of Done Taw around 11 a.m. Tuesday, capturing anyone who failed to escape.
“They arrested 11 innocent villagers,” said the witness, who described himself as a farmer and activist and asked to remain anonymous for his own safety.
He added that the captured men were not members of the locally organized People’s Defense Force, which sometimes faces the army in combat. He said the captives had their hands tied behind them and set them on fire.
He did not give the reason for the assault of the soldiers.
Other witnesses quoted in the Myanmar media said the victims were members of a defense force, although the witness who spoke to the AP described them as members of a less formally organized village protection group.
In recent months, fighting has erupted in Sagaing and other areas of the Northwest, where the army has deployed more resistance against the resistance than in urban areas.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed deep concern over reports of the “horrific killing of 11 people” and strongly condemned the violence, saying that “credible reports indicate that among the people killed were five children “.
Dujarric reminded Myanmar’s military authorities of their obligations under international law to ensure the safety and protection of civilians and called for those responsible for “this heinous act” to be held accountable.
He reiterated the UN’s condemnation of violence by Myanmar security forces and stressed that this requires a unified international response. As of Wednesday, he said security forces had killed more than 1,300 unarmed people, including more than 75 children, by using lethal force or while in their custody since the military took office. February 1.
Complaints follow Monday’s conviction of Suu Kyi for inciting and violating coronavirus restrictions and a four-year prison sentence, which was quickly halved. The court’s action has been widely criticized as another effort by military rulers to reverse the democratic gains of recent years.
In New York, the UN Security Council on Wednesday expressed “deep concern” over the sentencing of Suu Kyi, ousted President Win Myint and others, and reiterated previous calls for the arbitrary release of all detainees.
“Members of the Security Council reiterated their continued support for the democratic transition in Myanmar and stressed the need to maintain democratic institutions and processes, refrain from violence, pursue constructive dialogue and reconciliation. in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar, to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to uphold the rule of law, “the council said in a statement.