UN “horrified” by reports of massacre of civilians in Myanmar
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United Nations (United States) (AFP) – A UN official said on Sunday he was “horrified” by credible reports that at least 35 civilians were killed and their bodies burned in Myanmar, and called on the government to launch an investigation.
Two employees of the non-profit group Save the Children are still missing after their vehicle was among several that were attacked and burned in the incident in eastern Kaya state.
A watchdog group and local media blamed the attack on junta troops.
“I condemn this serious incident and all attacks on civilians across the country, which are prohibited by international humanitarian law,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said in a statement.
“I call on the authorities to immediately open a full and transparent investigation into the incident so that the perpetrators can be brought to justice quickly,” Griffiths said.
Myanmar has been in chaos since a coup in February, with more than 1,300 people killed in a crackdown by security forces, according to a local watch group.
The “People’s Defense Forces” (PDF) have sprung up across the country to fight the junta and have dragged the army into a bloody stalemate of clashes and reprisals.
Photos emerged on social media on Saturday purporting to show two burnt down trucks and a car on a highway in Hpruso township, Kayah state, with charred remains of bodies inside.
A member of a local PDF group said its fighters found the vehicles on Saturday morning after learning that the military had stopped several vehicles in Hpruso after clashes with its fighters nearby on Friday.
© 2021 AFP