In a horrifying instance of tyranny, Myanmar government troops reportedly gathered 30 villagers, including women and children, shot them dead, and burned the bodies on Christmas eve. Pictures of the alleged massacre in the village of Mo So on Friday, December 24, were doing rounds on the internet. The village of Mo So is located just outside Hpruso township in Kayah state, where refugees have taken shelter from an army offensive.
The photos of the incident showed charred bodies of the villagers along with three burnt-out vehicles. The photos, however, could not be verified. Local monitoring groups have reported that more than 1300 people have been killed by the security forces ever since the February coup. On December 7, Myanmar Now reported that junta's security forces set 11 villagers on fire in the Sagaing region in Salingyi Township during an army raid of about 100 troops.
Victims were on their way to refugee camps
Citing an eyewitness of the incident, the Associated Press reported that the victims of Friday's massacre had fled the fight between armed resistance groups and Myanmar's army near Koi Ngan village, located just beside Mo So village. The eyewitness further noted that the victims were arrested and killed by the troops on their way to refugee camps.
A resident of the area told Reuters on Saturday that he saw 32 bodies after the massacre. The US embassy in Myanmar released a statement on the barbaric attack in Kayah state that killed at least 35 civilians, including women and children. "We will continue to press for accountability for the perpetrators of the ongoing campaign of violence against the people of Burma," the statement read.
'Save The Children' workers missing
The humanitarian group Save The Children noted that two of their workers, while returning home after serving a nearby community 'got caught up in the Friday's incident' and haven't been heard from, since then. The group said in a statement that the workers' private vehicles were attacked and burnt. "The military reportedly forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed others, and burned their bodies," the statement added.
The Chief Executive of Save the Children, Inger Ashing noted in a statement that the organization has temporarily suspended the operations in Kayah Chin and parts of Magway and Kayin following this incident. "We are horrified at the violence carried out against innocent civilians and our staff," Ashing said.
According to the organizations' website, Save The Children has been active in Myanmar since 1995, providing health and nutrition, education, and child protection programs with the help of more than 50 partners and 900 staff across the country.