YANGON: Save the Children confirmed on Tuesday (Dec 28) that two of its staff members were killed in a Christmas Eve massacre blamed on junta troops that left the charred remains of more than 30 people on a highway in eastern Myanmar.
Anti-junta fighters said that they found more than 30 burnt bodies, including women and children, on a highway in Kayah state, where pro-democracy rebels have been fighting the military.
Save the Children later said that two of its staff members had been caught up in the incident and were missing.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the February coup, with more than 1,300 people killed in a crackdown by security forces, according to a local monitoring group.
Self-proclaimed "People's Defence Forces" have sprung up across the country to fight the junta, and drawn the military into a bloody stalemate of clashes and reprisals.
On Tuesday, Save the Children confirmed in a statement that the two men were "among at least 35 people, including women and children, who were killed".
"The military forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed many and burnt the bodies," it said, adding that the two men were both new fathers.
"This news is absolutely horrifying," said chief executive Inger Ashing.
"We are shaken by the violence carried out against civilians and our staff, who are dedicated humanitarians, supporting millions of children in need across Myanmar."