Three local men found tortured, murdered after junta raid on Kalay Township village

September 10th, 2021  •  Author:   U Win Aung and Ko Wunna (Kale Township)  •  3 minute read
Featured image

A man’s body found in Doenwe village in southern Kalay Township on September 8, following a raid by junta troops (Supplied)

Wounds on the men’s bodies indicated they had been beaten and burned with cigarettes before they were killed

By Myanmar Now

The bodies of three men were found to have been violently killed in Kalay Township, Sagaing Region, on Wednesday after their village was raided by the military.

Locals said that junta troops searched and ransacked all of the homes in Doenwe village on Tuesday, burning down four before leaving that day.

Among the three men found dead the following day was a 30-year-old villager with an intellectual disability. The men’s bodies were discovered outside the village with their hands tied behind their backs. There were signs of torture, including indications that they were beaten and burned with cigarettes.

“They slit two of the men’s throats. The other one… got his brains blown out,” a man from Doenwe who had briefly returned to the village told Myanmar Now by phone, citing eyewitnesses.

In addition to the 30-year-old—whose name was not available at the time of reporting—was another 20-year-old man from the nearby village of Ah Shey See named Wunna, and his uncle, Win Aung, according to the local.

“[The soldiers] damaged all the houses and robbed them of everything. They even took the longyis and killed the chickens. Not a single house was spared,” he said.

Another source told Myanmar Now that thousands of civilians from at least five villages in Kalay—Yae Shin, Tin Thar, Ah Shey See, Doenwe and Lel Char—had fled their homes out of fears that the junta’s armed forces would return to the area, but Myanmar Now was unable to confirm this.

“We still have not returned to the village, so we don’t know what’s happening there. We’re eating what we can find in the forest. We didn’t even get to bring our clothes as we had to run suddenly” a local woman from Tin Thar said.

A member of Kalay People’s Defence Force (PDF) said that the military had been terrorising villages in the southern part of Kalay Township for around a week until Wednesday, in an effort to suppress local resistance to the junta.

The military column leaving the area was targeted with resistance forces’ landmines at 7pm on Wednesday, damaging two vehicles and killing at least 10 soldiers, according to the PDF.

“We ambushed them with landmines and carried out a guerilla attack. We managed to efficiently damage two vehicles as the rest escaped,” he said, adding that the fighting that ensued lasted for around 20 minutes.

Myanmar Now was unable to confirm the incident, and the military council has not issued any official acknowledgement of the clash.

On Thursday morning, the Kalay PDF warned civilians against travelling in groups between 7pm and 6am and to leave car windows open when driving throughout the city, implying that cars with darkened windows would be viewed suspiciously.

The group also urged locals to make necessary preparations ahead of escalated attacks on the military council following the National Unity Government’s declaration of war against the junta on Tuesday.

Kalay was one of the first towns to begin armed resistance to the military dictatorship, following the February 1 coup, fighting back against Myanmar army troops with hunting rifles. Its residents continue to protest the junta daily, more than seven months later.

Burmese version.

Original Post: Myanmar Now