Myanmar junta soldiers raped at least seven women, including one suffering from mental illness, during raids on two villages in Kani Township, Sagaing Region, in late August.
Six women aged between 25 and 40 were confirmed as being raped by soldiers during the raid on a village in the township on August 28, according to Kani’s General Strike Committee that documents human rights violations in the township. The village names were omitted to protect the victims.
During the raid, 62 female villagers were detained along with 33 males. The females were raped during supposed interrogations, Ko Pyae Aung Naing of the committee told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.
“A woman with mental illness was raped in her house by soldiers while her elderly parents were forced out,” Ko Pyae Aung Naing said.
Five victims received medical treatment from resistance groups, according to the committee and residents.
Ko Pyae Aung Naing said there were probably other victims who did not report the attacks.
Troops from Divisions 99 and 337 and Infantry Battalion 368 released all detainees on August 29.
They burned down two buildings and furniture at the village school and around 20 million kyats worth of medicines and equipment at the village clinic which was treating residents and displaced people.
Medical equipment was dumped in wells and houses were looted.
“Our people will face these atrocities until we root out this terrorist force,” anti-regime activist Ko Pyae Aung Naing said.
On August 19, a 40-year-old-woman was raped and killed by regime forces along with her mother, who was in her 70s, during a raid on another village in the township, according to residents.
Regime troops arrived in three or four helicopters to raid the village and detained numerous residents. During the raid, U Hla Ti, 78, died of exhaustion while fleeing and hundreds of civilians left their homes.
A representative of the Kyauklonegyi People’s Defense Force, a resistance group in Kani, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that resistance fighters and residents found the 40-year-old’s body sitting on a village bench. Her mother’s corpse was found on a nearby garbage dump.
Medics said the daughter was raped by soldiers before being killed, the representative said. Her body was covered in wounds.
Her house and shop were burned by junta forces.
“I have no words to describe their inhumanity. Instead of fighting with the resistance, they burn civilian houses and commit rape. I am totally disgusted with their behavior,” he said.
Armed resistance against the junta started in Kani in April last year and it is a key resistance stronghold in the country.
Junta forces were accused of raping four civilians, including a child, in the township last year.
Around 43 residents were killed in four massacres during junta raids in the township in July last year.
Amid near-daily attacks from resistance groups and ethnic armed organizations, the regime has committed atrocities, including arbitrary torture and killings of civilians, burning people alive, massacres, extrajudicial killings of resistance detainees, using civilian detainees as human shields, artillery shelling and airstrikes on residential areas.