Myanmar junta troops behead, mutilate PDF squadron commander in Sagaing Township

Regime forces killed and mutilated a People’s Defence Force (PDF) squadron commander in Sagaing Township on Monday,  according to a resistance source.

The body of 43-year-old Bu Thee, of the Sagaing District PDF’s Battalion 8, was discovered with his head cut off and his chest and abdomen split open, the source reported.

“His body was eviscerated and beheaded when we found it. It wasn’t bleeding, so I think they did it after they killed him,” a local resistance leader told Myanmar Now on Tuesday.

“They’re just trying to instil fear in the public,” he added. 

The killing came a day after clashes were reported in the area following a junta raid on Ywar Ma, a village in Sagaing Township located near the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Muu rivers and about 30km west of the city of Sagaing.

A PDF member in his 30s named Ashay Gyi was killed during that fighting, according to Myanmar Now’s source.

A civilian was also reported dead near the village of Letpan Thar, which was raided by the junta column on Monday before it crossed the Muu River to Myinmu Township the following day.

“He was mentally handicapped. I think he was shot while trying to flee,” the resistance leader said.

A number of local people were reportedly arrested on Monday afternoon in Letpan Thar and Maung Htaung, the village where Bu Thee was captured.

Since February, a unit of soldiers from the military’s Meiktila-based Light Infantry Division 99 has been terrorising residents of southern Sagaing Region. A hallmark of this self-described “Ogre Column,” which has committed atrocities throughout the region,  is the trail of badly mutilated bodies that it has left behind.

It was unclear, however, if these latest killings were the work of the same column, which reportedly began an advance through Sagaing Township on April 21.

In addition to torching hundreds of houses in the township, the column is also believed to have been responsible for the April 24 death of a 44-year-old villager who was reportedly tortured before being decapitated with his severed penis in his mouth.

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