Residents in Sagaing find decapitated body following military rampage in nearby villages

Residents in the Sagaing Region township of Pale found the decapitated body of an unidentified man on Sunday morning, just hours after a military convoy passed through the area following attacks against villages on previous days. 

The man’s body and severed head were found on the highway between Pale and Gangaw, near the Kyauk Salin mountain, locals said, adding that people in the area heard gunshots before he was found.

“There were three gunshot wounds on the body,” one resident told Myanmar Now, citing witnesses who saw the man’s remains. “He wasn’t from any of the nearby villages.” 

Four military vehicles passed along the highway at around 6am on Sunday accompanied by men on about 10 motorbikes, who residents believed were members of Pyu Saw Htee, a group formed by the junta to launch attacks on opponents of its February 1 coup.  

A second Pale resident said the people who found the man’s remains were unsure about his age. 

Soldiers carried out raids on Friday and Saturday in at least two villages in the township. They burned down five houses in Nat Hteik village on Saturday morning, the second resident said, including one owned by a member of the military’s Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP).

“He wasn’t at home when his house was burned down,” he said. “He was afraid of being threatened by the villagers as everyone knew he was a USDP member. The military burned down his house anyway.” 

Soldiers entered the village firing shots, breaking into houses and destroying motorcycles, solar panels and satellite dishes, he added.

Resistance fighters from the Pale People’s Defence Force have killed at least 10 suspected military informants in the area since July, locals told Myanmar Now earlier this month. 

At least 15 local administrators have resigned after the group issued a statement warning them not to support the regime late last month.

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