World Photos Show Smoldering Ruins of Myanmar Town, Burned to Ground by Government Troops
Brother of U.S. journalist detained in Myanmar calls on Biden to intervene
Danny Fenster of Michigan has been held for more than two weeks, according to his family, who says the military junta has stonewalled efforts to make contact.“We have heard from everybody with the exception of the White House,” Bryan Fenster, Danny’s brother, told NBC News.
Shocking photos show the smoldering ruins of a Myanmar town after most of it was burned to the ground by government troops Tuesday, a villager told the Associated Press, confirming various reports.
The unnamed resident of the now-destroyed Kinma village in central Myanmar said he believed military forces came to search for members of a village defense force in opposition of the country's ruling military junta. The local defense force told residents of the troops' arrival beforehand and after homes were searched, the troops destroyed the village.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Trial begins for ousted Myanmar leader following military coup
Myanmar's ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi went on trial Monday, more than four months after the country's military seized power in a coup. © KOEN VAN WEEL/ANP/AFP/Getty Images TOPSHOT - Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi looks on before the UN's International Court of Justice on December 11, 2019 in the Peace Palace of The Hague, on the second day of her hearing on the Rohingya genocide case. - Aung San Suu Kyi appears at the UN's top court today, a day after the former democracy icon was urged to "stop the genocide" against Rohingya Muslims.
"We think it isn't over. We will shift to other villages. Even if we go back to our village, there is no place to stay because everything is burnt," the villager told the Associated Press when asked if he would return to Kinma village.
The villager said he believed three casualties resulted from the destruction and just 10 of 237 houses remain. Myanmar's military took over in February after ousting Aung San Suu Kyi's elected government.
For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.
The attack is the latest example of how violence has become endemic in much of Myanmar in recent months as the junta tries to subdue an incipient nationwide insurrection. After the army seized power in February, a nonviolent civil disobedience movement arose to challenge military rule, but the junta's attempt to repress it with deadly force fueled rather than quelled resistance.
Junta troops burn Myanmar village to the ground after fighting, residents say
Security forces set ablaze a village in central Myanmar after clashing there with opponents of the ruling junta, leaving at least two elderly people burned to death, several village residents said on Wednesday. MRTV state television said the blaze on Tuesday at Kin Ma, a village of about 800 people in the Magway Region, was caused by "terrorists" and that media who reported otherwise were "deliberately plotting to discredit the military."Reuters was unable to independently verify the cause of the blaze. A junta spokesman did not answer calls requesting comment.
Photos and videos of devastated Kinma village in Magway region that circulated widely on social media on Wednesday showed much of the village flattened by fire and the charred bodies of farm animals. One report said the village had about 1,000 residents.
The villager, who asked that his name not be used because of fear of government reprisals, said most residents had already fled when soldiers firing guns entered the village shortly before noon on Tuesday.
The village defense force had been established to protect against the junta's troops and police. Most such local forces are very lightly armed with homemade hunting rifles.
UN alarmed by abuse of civilians in growing Myanmar conflict
BANGKOK (AP) — The United Nations’ office in Myanmar expressed concern Thursday about escalating human rights abuses after reports that a group opposed to the junta may have executed 25 civilians it captured and allegations that troops had burned down a village. The struggle between the military regime that took power in February after ousting the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and those opposing it has sharpened in recent months. © Provided by Associated Press An internally displaced woman sits inside her makeshift tent at Pu Phar Village, Demawso Township, Kayah State on Thursday June 17, 2021.
Only four or five people were left in the village when they began searching houses in the afternoon. When they found nothing, they began setting the homes on fire, he said.
"There are some forests just nearby our village. Most of us fled into the forests," he said.
The villager said he believed there were three casualties, a boy who was a goat-herder who was shot in the thigh, and an elderly couple who were unable to flee. He believed the couple had died but several media reports said they were missing.
Asked if he planned to go back to the village, he said: "No, we dare not to."
The village defense forces are committed to forming a future opposition federal army, and some have allied themselves with ethnic minority groups in border areas that have been fighting for decades for autonomy from the central government.
UN proposal seeks arms embargo and democracy in Myanmar
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. General Assembly is expected to approve a resolution calling on Myanmar’s junta to restore the country’s democratic transition and for all countries “to prevent the flow of arms into Myanmar,” diplomats said. The draft resolution also condemns deadly violence by security forces and calls on the junta to unconditionally release the ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint “and all those who have been arbitrarily detained, charged or arrested.
Help Kinn Ma village. Almost the whole village was burned by Myanmar Military. Not only the buildings and foods were destroyed but also the old couple and animals were died in fire by those terrorist Police and Military.
TW // dead , burnt #June16Coup #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/Pmxcy4hwne— Naw Say (@NawSay5) June 16, 2021
Most of the fiercest fighting takes place in the border regions, where government forces are deployed in areas controlled by ethnic groups such as the Chin in the west, the Kachin in the north and the Karenni in the east.
The incident in Kinma attracted special attention because the Burman, or Barmar ethnic group, the country's power-holding majority, is predominant in the Magway region and it is unusual for them to be targeted for such severe measures.
The army burned many villages of the Muslim Rohingya minority in 2017 in a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the western state of Rakhine that drove more than 700,000 to seek safety across the border in Bangladesh.
There is widespread prejudice against the Rohingya and few in Myanmar protested the army's treatment of them, though international courts are now considering whether it constituted genocide. Some people commenting Wednesday on social media said the burning of Kinma made Rohingya claims of mistreatment more credible.
The UN has condemned Myanmar’s military coup. Will that matter?
“We cannot live in a world where military coups become a norm,” the UN Secretary-General said.The condemnation comes as UN officials express concern that the nation is on the brink of civil war and as humanitarian conditions worsen for civilians. While significant, though, the vote itself revealed complicated geopolitics that may stymie a more forceful international response to the situation.
US says 'all countries should be concerned' about arms sales to Myanmar junta .
The United States said the international community should be "concerned" about arms sales to the military junta in Myanmar without mentioning any suppliers by name. © Provided by Washington Examiner As Myanmar faces increased isolation from the world following the military coup of Feb. 1 and the ensuing crackdown on democratic protesters, Russia fills the void by providing increased support through military aid. The Kremlin's recent warming toward the military junta in the Southeast Asian country directly contrasts with increasing Western condemnation.