Junta forces shoot more than a dozen people dead in southern Shan State

Junta soldiers occupying the town of Moebye in southern Shan State’s Pekhon Township shot and killed at least 13 people in Si Kar ward between the end of May and early June, according to local sources.

Only six of the victims could be identified at the time of reporting.

Sein Maung, a 60-year-old man, was among the first killed in the series of shootings. He was targeted on the evening of May 27 while returning home from his farm on his tractor.

“He was shot in the chest and collapsed while his tractor crashed into the gutter,” an eyewitness said.

Two brothers, aged 19 and 16, were shot in their home on the afternoon of June 8. The next day, a local fortune teller in his 60s, Aye Win, and his two daughters—one in her 20s and one who was just 15—were also killed in their family’s residence.

During the period in question, a decomposing body, whose sex could not be determined, was found by civilians near the entrance to the Lete monastery, which has been occupied by the junta’s forces since early June, presumably killed by the troops inside.

The bodies of six more men were also found in the surrounding area.

“The majority of the victims were shot in the head. One was shot in the chest while he was driving his motorcycle. He was shot in the head later,” another local said of the six unidentified men.

In addition to those who were shot, eight other people were confirmed to have been killed by the military’s artillery fire in other Moebye wards between May 27 and May 29. Locals added that the number of casualties from heavy weapons fire may be higher, but civilians have been barred from entering several areas of the town.

Around 10,000 people have been displaced by frequent clashes around Moebye. One of the most severe battles broke out on June 11, in which the casualties reportedly included four members of allied resistance groups and 20 junta soldiers.

Some 300 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were at the Linkara teaching monastery in the town when 100 soldiers arrived at 11pm on June 7 and took over the site, according to a man who was staying there at the time.

“They fired three gunshots and asked us to open the door and a monk went to open it,” he said. “We saw the soldiers sleeping around us in the morning—they blended in with the civilians.”

The IDPs left Linkara over the next three days.

“[The soldiers] didn’t threaten the monks. The head monk told them they couldn’t stay there but they pleaded that it would just be one day. But they wouldn’t leave for several days, so we were later forced out.”

The man in question said he left the site on June 10, by which point all of the monks, including the abbot, had also abandoned the monastery.

Karenni IDPs seen in early 2022 (Khun Hla Nyan / Myanmar Now)

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