Myanmar Junta Rapes and Kills During Sagaing Raid

By The Irrawaddy 3 March 2023

Myanmar’s junta has raided a resistance stronghold in Sagaing Region, killing 17 detainees, including two resistance members, according to resistance groups.

Three mothers, aged between 30 and 40, who were used as human shields along with 11 other villagers, were reportedly raped by soldiers before being killed.

On Wednesday at around 1am a clash broke out at Tar Taing village as resistance forces tried to fight off around 100 junta troops attacking from the riverbank near the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Mu rivers, according to a representative of the Demon King Defence Force that coordinated the defense.

It is the second raid on the village after junta forces burned down around a third of Tar Taing’s 80 houses last month.

During Wednesday’s clash, U Kyaw Zaw, the leader of Tar Taing village’s defense force, was detained and killed by soldiers.

A photo showed the resistance leader beheaded with his legs and arms chopped to pieces.

The regime forces killed another detained resistance fighter and a resident on the same day.

The junta troops detained 70 villagers as human shields and occupied the village on Wednesday night.

Resistance groups said 14 villagers, including three females, were taken as human shields by junta troops while traveling to nearby Myinmu Township on Thursday.

Residents and resistance forces discovered 14 bodies in mango plantations in Nyaung Yin village outside Myinmu town.

A Demon King member said the bodies were found in small groups.

Onions were found in the three female victims’ underwear, resistance members told The Irrawaddy.

Relatives reported that the three women were raped before being stabbed and shot.

On Sunday the same troops beheaded two children, aged 12 and 13, abducted as human shields and guides from nearby Nyaung Pin Kan village during their raid on a resistance stronghold Kan Taw village in Myinmu Township.

Junta troops also beheaded two resistance detainees defending the village.

The Demon King representative said resistance forces could not stop the raids because they lacked automatic rifles.

“The more junta oppresses us, the more we revolt. We need proper weapons. We dare to fight and die for democracy and to uproot the dictatorship,” he said.

The resistance groups urged the civilian National Unity Government to arm them properly.

The NUG and many ethnic armed organizations vowed in January to topple the regime during this year but the junta attacks continue.

Since the 2021 coup, the junta has killed 3,075 people and detained 19,969, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group which monitors deaths and arrests.