The Burmese army carried out at least four mass killings of civilians last July, in which at least 40 men were killed. This was revealed by an investigation by the BBC that the British broadcaster publishes today on its website. The article is accompanied by a video in which residents of one of the targeted villages find the bodies of some of the victims in a mass grave. The BBC cites eyewitnesses and survivors of the massacres, according to whom many of the victims they were also tortured.
Massacres in the strongholds of the opposition
The mass killings took place in Kani Township, an opposition stronghold municipality in the Sagaing district in the center of the country. The most affected village was that of Yin, where at least 14 men were tortured and / or beaten to death, and their bodies were thrown into a ravine. Eyewitnesses and survivors told BBC reporters that soldiers, some of whom were 17, rounded up villagers, separated women from men, and killed only men. The BBC spoke to 11 witnesses in Kani and compared their reports with the footage and photographs on cell phones collected by Myanmar Witness, a UK-based NGO investigating human rights violations in the country.
Tortured before being killed
Witnesses in Yin village reported that the men were tied up and beaten before being killed. “We couldn’t stand and watch, so we kept our heads down, crying,” said one woman who lost a brother, nephew and brother-in-law. According to a man who managed to escape, the soldiers inflicted horrific abuse on the men for hours before they died. “They were tied up, beaten with stones and rifle butts and tortured all day,” said the survivor. In the nearby village of Zee Bin Dwin, 12 mutilated corpses were found buried in shallow mass graves: among these there was also a small body, possibly of a child, and the body of a disabled person. The killings, comments the BBC, may have been ordered as a collective punishment for attacks on the military by civilian militiamen in the area, who are demanding the restoration of democracy, after the coup with which the military junta took power.