Myanmar junta troops have reportedly killed seven displaced people and burned shelters and grain stores for refugees in Nattalin Township, Bago Region.
Nattalin People’s Defense Force (PDF) said around 100 junta troops raided at least five villages in the township’s Bago Yoma Forest from Dec. 19 to 24, torching houses, tents and food of displaced people along the way.
The group said seven refugees were tortured and burned to death after being detained by troops during the raids. Nattalin PDF published pictures of the charred bodies and destroyed houses while condemning the brutal attacks on non-military targets.
The Irrawaddy could not independently verify the reports.
PDF group member Yebaw Yay Chan said the troops arrested around 14 displaced people. Four were later released and seven were found dead. The fate of the other three detainees is not yet known.
The charred bodies were found near Nyaung Lay Pin village on Sunday, he said. Legs and hands of some victims had been hacked off, he added.
He said the victims ranged in age from 30 to 50 years old.
“We urge the whole populace to fight against the brutality of this regime, which is intentionally attempting to instill fear in all of our people,” Nattalin PDF said.
Regime troops burned more houses in three villages in Nattalin on Wednesday.
Intense clashes erupted between junta troops and resistance groups in Bago region early this month. The first town to fall in Bago was Mone in Kyaukkyi Township, which was seized by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and PDFs on Dec. 3.
The regime imposed martial law in five Bago townships, including Nattalin, last February.