More than 30 killed, bodies burnt in Myanmar’s Kayah state

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, one of the largest of several civilian militias opposing the junta that led a Feb 1 coup, said that the dead were not their members but civilians seeking refuge from the conflict.

"We were so shocked at seeing that all the dead bodies were different sizes, including children, women and old people," a commander from the group told Reuters, asking not to be named.

A villager who asked not to be named for security reasons said that he was aware of the fire on Friday night, but could not go to the scene as there was shooting.

"I went to see this morning. I saw dead bodies that had been burnt, and also the clothes of children and women spread around," he told Reuters by phone.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military overthrew the elected government of Nobel Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi almost 11 months ago, claiming fraud in a November 2020 election that her party had won. International observers have said that 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.

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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.

Artmotion Asia

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