Authorities exhumed the bodies of seven locals who were killed in Lashio Township’s Mong Yaw Village on June 28 in order to perform autopsies.
A forensic pathologist, judge and the Lashio Township police department carried out the autopsies.
“It was part of our police work. We exhumed the bodies and reburied them. We have opened a murder case,” said the head of the Lashio Township police force.
He said the victims were innocent civilians and that police would look into the case in accordance with the law and hold the perpetrators accountable.
Lt-Gen Mya Tun Oo of the Burma Army confirmed the army’s killing of five of the victims at a press conference in Rangoon on July 20, and promised to take action against the accused troops. He added that he could not place responsibility on the army for two of the murders.
The deputy commander of the Burma Army Northeast Command on July 3 compensated 300,000 kyats (US$250) to the families of the five victims killed by army troops in northern Shan State.
Aye Lwang, a local of Mong Yaw Village, told The Irrawaddy, “Police came and exhumed the bodies on Saturday. We were not allowed at the scene. We want justice to be served for our seven villagers.”
Burmese military columns no longer stay in the village when they are nearby and locals do not go to distant farms out of concern for their safety following the incident, according to Mong Yaw villagers.
Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.