Participants in Civil Disobedience Movement found murdered following junta raid in central Myanmar

The charred bodies of five members of the anti-coup movement were found by members of a local resistance force amid military raids on villages in northern Yesagyo Township in Magway Region on Tuesday evening. 

The township’s People’s Defence Force (PDF) chapter announced that two local guerrilla fighters, as well as three people who had been participating in the general strike associated with the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), were discovered slain near Peik Thin Kat village. 

They were burned beyond recognition and buried in a shallow grave, the PDF statement said. 

U Naing, a leader of another guerrilla force active in northern Yesagyo described the individuals to Myanmar Now as having been “murdered in a cruel manner.”

“All five bodies were found and accounted for. They killed them, burned the bodies and buried the remains,” he said, noting that the victims were found after the handcuffed hands of one of the bodies was left uncovered by soil.

Among those killed was 54-year-old headmaster Win Kyaw, 27-year-old nurse Zarli Naing, and Khin Hnin Wai, 28, a teacher who was five months pregnant at the time of her murder. Also murdered with them were two armed resistance force members in their 20s: Htay Min Oo and Thae Ei Ei Win. 

All five victims were in Myaing Township’s Dan Pin Kan village, located next to Peik Thin Kat, and captured on the evening of June 10, according to U Naing. He added that a bullet was found amongst the bodies, and that the abdomen of Win Kyaw appeared to have been perforated by a sharp object.

Both Khin Hnin Wai and Win Kyaw had been participating in the education program launched by the civilian National Unity Government after refusing to return to work in the junta-controlled school system. 

The site where they were killed is located two miles west of the Sin Phyu Shin bridge, where PDFs from Yesagyo, Myaing and Salingyi townships ambushed a junta checkpoint on June 9, killing three military personnel, taking one soldier prisoner, and seizing multiple weapons.

In the days that followed the attack, hundreds of Myanmar army soldiers began raiding the surrounding villages in northern Yesagyo Township, torching homes and abducting civilians. 

A cremation is held for the bodies of the five victims on June 15 (Supplied)

On June 10, hundreds of villagers were forced to flee into the area’s western forests when junta troops fired indiscriminately towards Dan Pin Kan after encountering explosives planted by the northern Yesagyo guerrilla group in an attempt to stop their advance.

Zarli Naing, the nurse who had been supporting the resistance movement, was working between Yesagyo and Myaing townships after fleeing her home in Pakokku, 30 miles to the south. She was among the fleeing Dan Pin Kan locals at the time she was captured.

“One of our members who attacked the military with explosives got injured after falling down a cliff, so we sent him to the CDM nurse to get his injuries treated,” guerrilla leader U Naing explained. “Another member of our group accompanied him and all five of them were arrested together by the military.”

He told Myanmar Now that Zarli Naing and Win Kyaw had been located in the area by a junta informant, who then guided the troops to the place where she was providing first aid to the injured resistance fighter, at a distance from the other displaced civilians. 

“The victims might have thought the junta soldiers were PDF members because they were wearing shorts just like PDF members do,” he said. 

Instead, they are believed to have been killed by their captors later that day.

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