Over 100 people were killed and their bodies dumped in Sagaing Region’s Ye-U Township from last July to April this year, according to local social organizations which collected the corpses and helped cremate them.
The victims included alleged junta informants, administrators and sympathizers, as well as missing persons.
Seven of the victims were identified as regime-appointed village administrators. Most of the bodies were found drifting in a canal, near the canal or in villages, according to the Ponnyakuthala social organization.
“Some victims could not be identified. Others were identified by their families who were searching for them,” said a member of Ponnyakuthala.
The organization said it helped cremate 12 bodies in April, and the majority of victims were men with gunshot and knife wounds.
A local resident said: “They were shot and their throats were slit, and then dumped in the canal. This is the consequence of the military’s coup.”
Locals believe the actual number of people killed could be higher.
One leader of a People’s Defense Forces (PDF) group in Ye-U Township said: “It is possible that they were killed either for the revolution or out of personal grudges. There can be many reasons. But for now we can’t investigate those reasons. So we can’t say exactly whether their deaths are related to the revolution or not.”
Pro-junta groups have also been targeting anti-coup civilians recently. In April, a group called Thwe Thout killed National League for Democracy (NLD) members in Mandalay.
In one of its statements, the group vowed to annihilate NLD members and supporters, as well as PDF members and those with ties to PDFs.
On April 28, Thwe Thout raided the house of the actor Hein Htet, who has taken up arms against the regime, in Yangon’s Mingaladon Township. His grandfather was killed in the shooting.
Both the regime and Thwe Thout have denied having ties to each other. But observers say the group is backed by the military regime.