Villagers Allegedly Burned Alive by Myanmar Junta: Resistance

By The Irrawaddy 8 December 2021

Myanmar’s junta is alleged to have burned alive 10 villagers, including five teenagers aged between 14 and 17, in Salingyi Township, Sagaing Region, on Tuesday.

The village raid followed a mine ambush on military vehicles on the Monywa-Pathein highway near Don Taw village in Salingyi, according to resistance fighters.

The Irrawaddy could not independently verify any of the reports.

After the attack, regime forces reportedly opened fire on farmers near Don Taw and seized the 10 civilians.

Villagers later found the 10 charred bodies inside the remains of a farm hut outside the village. It is unclear if the victims were already dead before the fire was started.

“They were shot and stabbed while forced to knee with their hands tied. The regime forces burned them alive before they died,” said a People’s Defense Force (PDF) leader told The Irrawaddy.

Villagers said Don Taw resident, Daw Win Yi, who was over 50, was also killed by junta’s shelling in farmland outside the village.

“All the village is pained by the murders. We want the killings to stop,” a Don Taw villager, who was close to many of the victims, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

The charred bodies of 10 villagers killed by regime forces in Don Taw village, Salingyi Township, Sagaing, on Tuesday morning. / CJ

Around 3,000 Don Taw villagers have fled their homes along with the residents of neighboring villages.

“The junta thinks these attacks frighten us but they just increase our determination to fight. We will increase our attacks on the junta,” said the PDF leader.

Myaukyamar PDF, another resistance group, said it attacked regime forces in Shwe Taung Oo, a military barracks near Monywa, using grenade launchers.

The group said the attack was in response to the Don Taw killings.

The Democratic Guerrilla Force, another resistance group, said it attacked the regime sentries at the entrance of Monywa, the capital of Sagaing Region, on Tuesday evening.

Three junta soldiers were killed, the group claimed.

The resistance group said it was in revenge for the junta’s ramming attack in Yangon and the burning of Salingyi villages.

Regime forces burned alive a 24-year-old villager after using him as a human shield during an attempted raid on the PDF in the south of Kale Township, Sagaing Region, this week, according to the Chinland Defense Force.

Salai Lal Ro Mawi was abducted from his farm on December 4 and his charred remains were found on Tuesday. It is unclear if he was already dead.

On Sunday, another villager was set on fire by regime forces after being tied up in a house in southern Kale. The victim was allegedly abducted by troops while he was farming.

Five displaced civilians were killed by regime forces in late November after being used as human shields and guides during raids on villages and refugee camps in Gangaw Township, Magwe Region.

In the last three months, Myanmar’s regime has killed about 112 civilians, including several displaced civilians and PDFs members, in attacks in Sagaing Region.

Myanmar’s junta is arbitrarily killing civilians, using detained civilians as human shields, bombarding residential areas, looting and burning houses and committing sexual violence, especially in Magwe and Sagaing regions and Chin, Shan and Kayah states where civilian resistance groups are most active.

By Tuesday, 1,305 people have been killed by junta forces, said the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group that records the deaths and arrests since the Feb. 1 coup.

Another 10,756 people, including democratically elected government leaders, have been detained by the junta.

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