More than 30 people, including children, were killed and their bodies burned in Myanmar’s conflict-torn Kayah state on Friday, according to a local resident, media reports and a local human rights group.
The Karen Human Rights Group said it found the bodies of internally displaced people killed by the military that rules Myanmar near Mo So village of Hpruso town on Saturday.
“We strongly denounce the inhumane and brutal killing which violates human rights,” the group said in a Facebook post.
The Myanmar military said it had shot and killed an unspecified number of “terrorists with weapons” from the opposition armed forces in the village, state media said. The people were in seven vehicles and did not stop for the military, it said.
The military could not immediately be reached for comment, reports the guardian.com
Photos shared by the human rights group and local media showed the charred remains of bodies on burnt-out truckbeds.
The Karenni National Defence Force, one of the largest of several civilian militias opposing the junta that carried out a coup in February, said the dead were not their members but civilians seeking refuge from the conflict.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, claiming fraud in an election that her party had won. International observers have said the ballot was fair.
Civilians enraged by the coup and subsequent crackdown on protesters have been taking up arms. Many local resistance forces have sprung up across the country.
The military has outlawed many opponents, labelling them traitors or terrorists, including a self-proclaimed national unity government that seeks to lobby the international community and prevent the junta from consolidating power.