Myanmar Junta Has Committed at Least 144 Massacres Since Coup: NUG

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News Desk

Myanmar’s military junta has committed at least 144 massacres over the past two years and killed 1,595 civilians around the country, according to the civilian National Unity Government’s Ministry of Human Rights.

Evidence indicates a campaign of mass killing that is escalating as the junta struggles to contain the popular uprising following the 2021 coup, the ministry reported on July 31.

The junta committed 11 massacres of five or more people in 2021, 85 massacres in 2022, and 48 massacres between January and July this year, the ministry said.

The resistance stronghold of Sagaing Region has experienced the highest death toll, suffering 90 massacres in which a total of 920 civilians were killed over the two and a half years.

The worst massacre was the Pazigyi village aerial bombardment, which killed 157 civilians including 42 children on April 11, this year. In the largest mass killing committed by the regime since the coup, a jet fighter dropped bombs on Kantbalu Township’s Pazigyi village where around 200 civilians had gathered for a housewarming ceremony, causing carnage. Later that same day, an Mi-35 helicopter gunfire sprayed the area with gunfire and a jet fighter conducted another airstrike as locals collected bodies from the morning attack.

“The military terrorizes people with arson attacks and massacres because the people don’t accept their rule,” a representative of the Depayin Refugee Support Group told. “Their behavior is very cowardly,” he said.

Depayin Township has suffered the highest number of junta arson attacks, with 6,024 homes torched, as well as the highest toll from civilian massacres, he added.

Thirteen people including seven children were killed by a junta airstrike on Depayin’s Let Yat Kone village in late September. Two Mi-35 helicopter gunships swept down and opened fire on the village school where more than 200 students were attending.

“The people have sacrificed everything for the revolution. So, they will never go back,” a representative of the Depayin Refugee Support Group told.

In late October, a total of 80 people, including well-known Kachin musicians and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) personnel, were killed in Hpakant Township, Kachin State when three junta fighters bombed an outdoor concert at A’Nang Pa village. The concert was held to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Kachin Independence Organization, the KIA’s political wing.

The latest massacre came on July 22, when junta troops raided Sone Chang village in Sagaing’s Yinmabin Township and killed 11 civilians and three resistance fighters. Ko Banyar, founder of the Karenni Human Rights Group, said he expected more massacres in the future as the military is committing the mass killings to counter its heavy losses on the ground. Destroying villages to deter local support for resistance is a longstanding tactic of the military.

The Ministry of Human Rights has said it will make every effort to bring those accused to justice and has asked the public to pass on information of human rights violations committed by the junta.

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