Myanmar junta forces tortured and killed five villagers on Monday during a raid on a village in Chaung-U Township, Sagaing Region.
After being ambushed by local resistance groups, 80 military regime soldiers raided Nyaung Pin Tal Village around three kilometers to the west of Chaung-U Town.
The junta troops arrested eight villagers, including three women aged in their 40s and 50s, during the raid, the spokesperson for the Chaung-U People’s Defense Force (PDF) told The Irrawaddy.
Five of the detainees: U Paw Kyi, 52, Ko Nay Wyne, 37, U Aung Min, 48, U Pyay Aye, 49 and an unidentified man were tortured and killed by the regime soldiers, according to Chaung-U PDF and Chaung-U Public News, a local media outlet.
Citing witnesses and evidence, the Chaung-U PDF spokesperson said that the five male detainees were tortured before being killed, as ropes, pliers and a hammer were found in the house where they were detained and blood was discovered on the floor.
Two of the bodies were then set alight after being dragged out of the house. Photos show two burned bodies, with one of the victim’s legs still tied up.
Another villager was tortured to death outside the house, but his body is still missing, said Chaung-U PDF.
The bodies of two of the other detained villagers were found in a house that was torched by regime forces before they left Nyaung Pin Tal Village on Monday.
A Chaung-U PDF fighter, Ko Toe Naing Win, was killed during a clash with the regime detachment and two other fighters were injured, said the Chaung-U PDF spokesperson.
Regime forces also looted homes during their two day deployment in the village.
The three women villagers detained by the junta soldiers were later released on Monday after being used as human shields while the troops returned to Chaung-U Town.
On June 14, a Myanmar military detachment that torched a village and killed four civilians was ambushed repeatedly by PDFs at three locations as it returned to Chaung-U Town.
“They [junta forces] regard everyone opposing the military as their enemy. As the whole country is opposing military rule, all the people are their enemies. So they are treating civilians as the enemy and murdering them,” said the Chaung-U PDF representative.
He urged people in Chaung-U to flee whenever they see junta forces as so many arbitrary killings of civilians are occurring.
Faced with daily attacks by PDFs and ethnic armed organizations, regime forces are responding with indiscriminate killings, torture, air and artillery strikes on residential areas, torching villages and using civilians as human shields, especially in Sagaing, Magwe and Mandalay regions and Chin, Karen, Kayah, Kachin and Shan states.
As of June 20, almost 2,000 civilians have been killed by the regime and over 14,000 detained since last year’s coup, according to the rights group the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
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