Disabled Man and Teenagers Among 11 Shot and Burned in Horrific Massacre

Some of the victims’ hands were tied when their bodies were found in a Myanmar village, locals said.
myanmar military massacre
Myanmar's military personnel patrol in a truck in downtown Yangon on November 2, 2021. Photo: STR / AFP

Warning: This article contains graphic images.

The charred remains of 11 bodies have been found in rural Myanmar, with teenagers and a disabled man said to be among the victims. 

Video emerged on Tuesday showing the blackened, stiffened corpses stacked in a still-smoking pile, with Done Taw village locals saying they were massacred by soldiers from Myanmar’s military junta. 

News outlet Myanmar Now reported locals as saying that some of the victims’ hands were tied when their bodies were found. Cries for help were reportedly heard during the fire, leading some to believe that they were burned alive.

Advertisement

“They beat them to the brink of death and burned them alive before they died. Some of them are not even 18,” said a leader of the local People’s Defense Force (PDF), a self-organising guerilla group that has sprung up in communities across the country to resist the junta.

Myanmar has been rocked by unrelenting civil unrest as anti-junta groups have fought back against the country’s military, which toppled Aung San Suu Kyi’s government in a coup on Feb. 1. 

It remains unclear if there were any eyewitnesses to the killings, and the exact circumstances surrounding the deaths are yet to be verified. But one Done Taw resident told Myanmar Now that the 11 victims “were running through the farm and got shot and were taken to the hut where they were burned.” Another villager organising the mens’ funerals said the soldiers “found them, beat them up and burned them.” 

The charred remains of the 11 men massacred by the Myanmar military. Photo: Khit Thit Media

The charred remains of the 11 men massacred by the Myanmar military. Photo: Khit Thit Media

Local news outlet Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) said the men were tied up and shot in the head, with those who survived the shooting heard wailing as the hut was set on fire and they were burned alive. 

The victims included a man with paraplegia and five people under 18, including a 14-year-old, according to a list compiled by the local PDF. Myanmar Now reported the local PDF as saying all the men were members of the group, but none were armed when they were captured by soldiers. 

Advertisement

DVB, however, reported that all the men were civilians, with Radio Free Asia quoting local villagers as saying the men were farm workers. 

“He didn’t do anything, [he was] just a naive boy although he was over 20 years old. Only once or twice was he a village nightwatchman, he didn’t join a PDF or other armed group,” a woman told DVB, referring to her son who was killed.

Fighting had broken out near the village on Tuesday morning when PDF forces detonated explosives as a military convoy was passing through the area. Following the explosions, soldiers entered the nearest village, which happened to be Done Taw, and opened fire. 

The military has not publicly responded to the killings and could not be reached for comment. 

Myanmar’s military is infamous for its ultra-violent acts and is regularly implicated in atrocities committed against civilians. In 2018, Reuters journalists reported that 10 unarmed Rohingya men were shot, hacked to death and then buried in a mass grave in what has come to be known as the Inn Din massacre. 

On Sunday, disturbing video footage captured a military vehicle plowing into peaceful protesters marching in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. The attack occurred ahead of Aung San Suu Kyi’s politically motivated trial on Monday, where she was sentenced to four years in prison—later reduced to two—for incitement. 

Follow Alastair McCready on Twitter