This photo taken and received through an anonymous source on December 22, 2021 shows rescue officials preparing to search for missing people after a landslide at a jade mine in Hpakant, Kachin State.
Brochure / Anonymous / AFP
A senior UN official has called on Myanmar authorities to investigate the killing of at least 35 civilians blamed by opposition activists on government soldiers, saying he was “horrified” by the violence.
The ruling army has not commented on the killings near the village of Mo So in Kayah state on Friday and has not been able to contact the board’s spokesman, Zaw Min Tun, by phone.
State media reported on Sunday that soldiers had shot and killed an unspecified number of “armed terrorists” from forces fighting the military government. State media said nothing about civilians.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said reports of the killing of civilians, including at least one child, were credible.
“I am horrified by reports of an attack on civilians … I condemn this serious incident and all attacks on civilians across the country, which are prohibited by international humanitarian law,” it said in a statement.
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Griffiths called for a “thorough and transparent” investigation so that the perpetrators could go to court.
Residents and a human rights group working in the area said soldiers had killed civilians. Photographs released by the rights group showed charred bodies, some in the back of a burned truck.
Myanmar has been in crisis since the army overthrew Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government on 1 February.
Opponents of the military have taken up arms, some linking up with ethnic minority guerrillas who have been fighting the government for years for self-determination in various parts of the country, including the state of Kayah in the east.
On Monday, three sources in the western Thai town of Mae Sot, 330 km south, said there were more signs of fighting along the border with Myanmar, including gunfire, smoke plumes and a air attack.
According to Thai authorities, 5,260 refugees have fled the area to Thailand since the outbreak of fighting between the Myanmar army and the Karen National Union (KNU) insurgent group on December 16.
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A spokesman for Thailand’s foreign ministry said Thailand was working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the event that “Thai authorities could not handle the situation”, following calls from Thailand. aid organizations to make Bangkok do more to help.
Since the Myanmar army launched a coup, more than 1,300 people have died in cracking down on protests and more than 11,000 have been jailed, according to a report by the Association for the Assistance of Prisoners. Politicians.
The military disputes the group’s death toll.