Villagers in Myanmar accuse junta troops of massacre
The bloody area witnessed another massacre by Myanmar troops who killed at least 10 people and set fire to a number of houses.
Myanmar junta troops killed at least 10 people and set fire to hundreds of houses during a raid on a village in a hotspot of opposition to the coup, according to locals and media reports.
Since the coup last year, the Northwest Sagaing region has seen fierce fighting and bloody retaliation, with junta troops struggling to crush resistance by the local "People's Defence Force" (PDF).
According to one local, on July 18, soldiers were dropped near Kyi Su village by two helicopters, and around 100 people who had not fled were taken prisoner by the military.
"The elderly men were released on the following day while around 10 younger people were kept there," they said, requesting anonymity.
Villagers discovered the bodies after soldiers had left on July 20, according to another resident. "I went to look for my animals in the forest but I found nine burnt human bodies with their hands tied," he said.
Another local, who also requested anonymity, stated that 10 bodies had been discovered, nine of which had been identified by family members. They also said the bodies had been found with their hands tied, adding that at least 30 people from the village are missing.
According to a Muslim resident who fled before troops arrived and whose house was among those torched, around 400 houses in the village's Muslim quarter had been burned to the ground, and a mosque had been partially damaged by fire.
"We survived, but we are displaced. When it rains we have to suffer mosquitoes and bugs," he said, also requesting anonymity.
According to local media, at least 20 charred bodies were discovered with their hands tied, and hundreds of houses were set on fire in Kyi Su.
AFP was unable to confirm reports from the remote region, where junta authorities regularly cut internet access. A junta spokesman could not be reached for comment.
Junta troops have been killing and burning people in Sagaing as they try to crush opposition to the coup that deposed Aung San Suu Kyi's government last year, according to locals and media reports.
The junta has previously accused "terrorist" PDF groups of setting the fires.
Since the putsch, the Southeast Asian nation has been in turmoil, with nearly 700,000 people displaced by violence and the economy in shambles, according to the UN.
According to a local monitoring group, the junta's crackdown on dissent has resulted in the deaths of over 2,100 people.