Junta troops arrest and kill 7 villagers in Myanmar’s Mandalay region

By RFA Burmese

Junta troops killed seven residents of a village in central Myanmar’s Mandalay region, locals told RFA.

The men were arrested on Saturday night and villagers found their bodies over the next two days.

They identified the men as 62-year-old Sein Maung Myint; 50-year-old Sein Aung; 43-year-old Kyaw Tin; 37-year-old Swe Lin Aung; 38-year-old Myo Naing; 38-year-old Naing Win Swe; and 38-year-old Thu Kha, all from Yae Zin village in Ngazun township.

They found four bodies just outside the village on Sunday morning, and the other three near a village 11.2 kilometers (7 miles) away the following day.

All of the men had gunshot wounds, said the locals – who declined to be named for safety reasons.

The villagers said the men were arrested after a local People’s Defense Force militia shot dead a suspected military informant named Zin Myo Htet in Yae Zin on Friday.

“I think it is mainly related to that man being killed,” said one resident. “The army arrested people who were not connected to that incident the day after he was killed. People who supported the National League for Democracy and were involved in anti-regime protests were picked out to be arrested and killed. It is a form of instilling fear.”

The National League for Democracy was Myanmar’s ruling party until the military seized power in a Feb. 1, 2021 coup.

Calls by RFA to the junta spokesman for Mandalay region, Thein Htay, seeking comment on the killings went unanswered.

The junta has killed 2,669 people since last year’s coup, according to data released Tuesday by Thailand-based human rights organization the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Written in English by Mike Firn.