Eyewitnesses told the AP that about 50 soldiers reached the village around 11 a.m. on Tuesday and caught everyone who failed to escape.
Myanmar Army (File Photo)
The brutality of military rule in the country was again exposed on Wednesday after photos surfaced on social media of the alleged killing and handing over of captured villagers by government troops in the north-west part of Myanmar. Pictures and videos of burnt bodies in Done Taw village of Sagaing region went viral on social media on Tuesday. It is said that those pictures were taken soon after the villagers were killed and set on fire. However, there is no confirmation of these pictures and videos yet.
A man told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that he had gone to the scene and had a similar view, as reported by independent Myanmar media. The government has not yet commented on these allegations. If this incident is confirmed, it could be another episode of violent crackdown in the country since the military took over the reins of power by ousting Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February. Example would be. The coup was initially followed by non-violent street demonstrations, but violence erupted with police and soldiers using horrific force on demonstrators and opponents of military rule taking up arms in self-defense.
The members of the ‘People’s Defense Force’ were not dead.
Eyewitnesses told the AP that about 50 soldiers reached the village around 11 a.m. on Tuesday and caught everyone who failed to escape. The eyewitness, who claimed to be a farmer, said on condition of anonymity, “They had arrested 11 innocent villagers.” He told that the arrested people were not members of the locally organized ‘People’s Defense Force’, which has clashed with soldiers several times. Eyewitnesses told that the hands of those caught were tied and they were set on fire. He did not give any reason for the soldiers’ attack.
However, Myanmar media reported that the army appeared to have retaliated against an attack by members of the People’s Defense Force that morning. Myanmar media quoted other eyewitnesses as saying that the villagers were members of the defense force. However, an eyewitness who spoke to AP described him as a member of a less formally organized village conservation group.
United Nations condemned the incident
Meanwhile, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed deep concern over the news of the “barbaric killing of 11 people” and strongly condemned the violence, saying that according to credible reports, five children were among those killed. Dujarric reminded Myanmar military officials of their obligations under international law to ensure the safety of civilians and called for those responsible for the heinous act to be held accountable. He reiterated that the United Nations condemned the violence by Myanmar’s security forces and stressed that the international community should unite and raise its voice against it.
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