Villagers said on Sunday that the Burmese armed forces clashed with opponents of the opposition army in a town in the center of the Southeast Asian country, killing at least 25 people as people increasingly took up arms to oppose the seizure of power in a six-month coup. Generals. before.
A military spokesperson did not respond to a call from Reuters, requesting comment on the violence in De Pain, Sagaing District, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of the capital Naypyidaw.
The state-run Myanmar Global Shin Kong newspaper said that “armed terrorists” ambushed security forces patrolling there, killing one person and injuring six others. It said that after the security forces retaliated, the attackers retreated.
Myanmar was plunged into chaos due to the coup d’etat against the elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Protests broke out in many areas of the country, and key staff including doctors and nurses joined a large-scale civil disobedience movement.
In some areas, civilians have formed “defense forces” Pick up the weapon Opposing the National Administrative Council, as the generals claim, they often use shotguns or makeshift weapons made up of household items. Some of these groups were formed jointly with the National Unity Government established by the democratically elected government, which was overthrown by General Min Aung Hlaing.
The most recent violence occurred on Friday in the town of Depayin in the central Sagaing region, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) north of the capital Naypyidaw.
A Depain resident who declined to be named for fear of retaliation told Reuters that four military trucks had dropped soldiers in the village early Friday.
The young people of the local People’s Defence Force, which was set up to oppose the generals, confronted them. However, the resident stated that they had only temporary weapons and were pushed back by the stronger firepower of the security forces.
“Someone died on the farm and by the railway. They (soldiers) shot everything that moved,” said another resident, his uncle among the dead.
‘Shot in the head’
Two residents said that a total of 25 bodies were collected after the fighting.
Other residents told AFP that military trucks entered their area and opened fire on a village near the jungle, hoping to drive away members of the local defense force.
“We heard 26 cannon shots,” a villager said, adding that the Wehrmacht fighters tried to retaliate but were unable to withstand the attack.
“They shot everyone they saw on the road and in the village. They not only had a target,” he said.
The De Pain People’s Defence Force stated on its Facebook page that 18 of its members were killed and 11 were injured.
About two dozen ethnic armed groups have fought in the border areas of Myanmar for decades, but Depain is located in the center of the Burmese majority, and the Burmese also dominate the armed forces.
The official media provided different accounts of the skirmish, saying that the military was patrolling when the area was ambushed.
According to a report by the “Myanmar Global Sunbeam”, the soldiers repelled the “armed terrorists” and later discovered “four mortars and six artillery”. The newspaper did not cause any deaths in the village.
Members of the local defense force who helped organize the collection of bodies said that the villagers waited until Saturday to venture out of their homes to assess the casualties.
“We first found nine bodies and buried them,” he told AFP, adding that the other eight bodies were discovered by different teams and were buried on the same day.
On Sunday, they found eight more bodies.
“I noticed from their bodies that most of them were shot in the head,” he said-another man who helped move the dead confirmed this observation to AFP.
According to the United Nations, violence since the coup has driven more than 230,000 people from their homes. The Political Prisoners Aid Association, which has been tracking the post-coup crackdown, said that since February, at least 888 people have been killed by security forces and nearly 5,200 have been detained.
The military disputed these figures, but did not give its own estimates.
It claimed that its power grab was necessary because Aung San Suu Kyi’s National Democratic League won by an overwhelming advantage in the alleged fraud in the November elections last year. Its request has been rejected by the Election Committee.