At least 35 people, including senior citizens, women, and children, were allegedly killed and their bodies burned in Myanmar’s Kayah state, a local rights body said on Friday. In its report, the Karenni Human Rights Group said that all the charred bodies were discovered in the wee hours of December 25. “We strongly denounce the inhumane and brutal killing which violates human rights,” the group said in a Facebook post adding that the gruesome discovery was made near Mo So village of Hpruso town.
“The bodies were tied with ropes before being set on fire,” a witness told AP on condition of anonymity because he feared for his safety.
Laying bare further details, the rights group stressed that the burnt bodies were discovered inside seven vehicles which did not stop at the military’s command. An investigation to determine the identities of the bodies has been launched but local groups have said that they were internally displaced Myanmarese seeking refuge. Meanwhile, a report by Al Jazeera cited the military as saying that they had killed an unspecified number of “terrorists with weapons” from opposition armed forces. Notably, local media has reported that the victims included members who were going to attend training to fight the country's army- the Tatmadaw.
Earlier this month, local media floated reports of the Tatmadaw ‘shooting and burning’ at least 11 people in the Sagaing region. The brutalities evoked strict reactions from the international community including Washington which termed it as “credible and sickening.” The UN, meanwhile, said that it was an “alarming escalation of grave human rights abuses.” The brutal "murders" also triggered a silent protest from Myanmar's residents to raise their voices against the recent killings.
As a part of the silent protests, Yangon residents restricted themselves in their homes. Yangon is the largest city in the country and had served as the country capital previously. On December 10, it was eerily quiet with shops and restaurants shut down. At around 4 pm (local time), people in Yangon neighbourhoods clapped to mark the end of the protests.
The Southeast Asian nation has been hit with gruelling violence after military leader Min Aung Hlaing declared a coup d’état on February 1. Not only have Myanmar’s democratically elected lawmakers including ousted state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi detained but hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives in the “fight for democracy”. According to the rights group AAPP, more than 1,375 people have been killed, 11,202 total arrested, while 1,964 were currently evading an arrest warrant.
DAILY UPDATE 25/12— AAPP (Burma) (@aapp_burma) December 25, 2021
1,375 killed (+10)
11,202 total arrests (+20)
1,964 evading warrant (+0)
fatalities https://t.co/dz8B4emlWo pic.twitter.com/CDfKsCKFRg