A high-ranking United Nations official is urging authorities in Myanmar to investigate the massacre in Kayah State, where local sources report that the Myanmar military killed at least 35 civilians, including at least one child, on Christmas Eve.
Two staff from the non-profit organisation Save the Children also went missing in the attack by the Myanmar military soldiers, according to a monitoring group and local media.
In a statement issued on Sunday, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths said “I condemn this heinous crime, as well as any attacks against civilians throughout Myanmar, which are forbidden under international humanitarian law”, adding that justice must be brought as soon as possible.
#MYANMAR: Credible reports say at least 35 people were forced from their vehicles, killed and burned.
— Pierre Peron (@pierre_peron) December 27, 2021
He also urged all militia groups in the country to take all necessary precautions to safeguard civilians.
The US embassy in Myanmar also expressed its concern over the incident as a “barbaric attack” and released a statement on social media that reads that the US will continue to press for accountability for the perpetrators of “the ongoing campaign of brutality against the people of Burma”.
We are appalled by this barbaric attack in Kayah state that killed at least 35 civilians, including women and children. We will continue to press for accountability for the perpetrators of the ongoing campaign of violence against the people of Burma. #WhatsHappeningInMyanmar https://t.co/Qz1eytOWGL
— U.S. Embassy Burma (@USEmbassyBurma) December 26, 2021
Photos have been circulated on social media on Saturday purporting to depict two burned-out vehicles and a car on a highway in Hpruso township in Kayah state, with the charred remains of victims inside.
A local PDF member spotted the vehicles on Saturday morning and told AFP that 27 bodies had been found burnt with skulls after the military stopped several vehicles in Hpruso after confrontations with its militants on Friday.
People’s Defence Forces have cropped up around the country, drawing the forces into a violent stalemate of skirmishes and reprisals to take down the military regime.
Myanmar has been under political turmoil since the military deposed Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s elected government in February, claiming fraud in an election her party had won.
According to a local monitoring group, security personnel have killed over 1,300 individuals in a crackdown.