Myanmar Junta Troops Behead 8 Civilians and Resistance Members in Sagaing

By The Irrawaddy 9 May 2023

Myanmar junta forces killed and beheaded three civilians and five resistance members during a raid in Chaung U Township, Sagaing Region last Friday, according to locals and resistance groups.

A detachment of 80 troops raided a training camp of the Chaung U People’s Defense Force (PDF) and an adjacent monastery after occupying the township’s Kyi Kone village at 7 pm on Friday, a representative of the resistance group told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

Regime troops seized and killed three Chaung U PDF members and two civilians who were evacuating over 100 residents sheltering at the monastery. Prior to the raid, regime troops had clashed with resistance forces in the area.

“Our comrades had enough time to avoid the junta raid, but instead they chose to evacuate displaced civilians from the monastery. They were seized along with two civilians while they checked whether any refugees were left in the monastery,” said the Chaung U PDF representative.

All refugees were evacuated ahead of the raid by regime troops. However, the resistance training camp leader, two of his comrades and two civilians were killed and decapitated by junta soldiers, according to the resistance leader who retrieved their bodies after regime forces retreated.

“They all were stabbed in their necks and abdomens before being beheaded. Their headless torsos were still bleeding when we arrived. We had to cremate their bodies without heads,” the PDF leader said.

Locals and resistance forces also found the bodies of a 65-year-old female resident and two other resistance fighters from another local group a few kilometers away from the site of the raid.

“The woman refugee was shot in the head. The other two were stabbed and shot to death after being detained by the junta military column,” said the Chaung U PDF leader.

He said regime troops have been committing such atrocities to terrorize resistance defenders and civilians who oppose military rule. The tactic was backfiring, he added.

“Witnessing the junta’s inhumane atrocities has made my comrades and I even more determined to fight till the regime is ousted. We can’t allow a military of murderers and rapists to govern our country and people.”

On Saturday morning, the same military column went on to burn 530 houses during a raid on Let Htoke Taw village in neighboring Myinmu Township, according to residents and resistance members.

Regime forces opened fire on villagers during the raid, killing a 50-year-old villager and wounding two other residents.