Bloodbath continues in Myanmar, over 75 civilians killed in Sittwe allegedly by military

The military, however, has denied any role in the killings though they have said that they retaliated against some people who were trying to challenge them leaving three dead.
In this photo taken from video, provided by a displaced Rohingya, the scarlet flames that came out from the burning of the houses in the town of Buthidaung in Rakhine state, Myanmar, are seen from a distance on May.17, 2024.
In this photo taken from video, provided by a displaced Rohingya, the scarlet flames that came out from the burning of the houses in the town of Buthidaung in Rakhine state, Myanmar, are seen from a distance on May.17, 2024. (File - AP Photo)

NEW DELHI: In a tragic turn of events over 75 civilians have reportedly been killed in Byain Phyu village near the capital of Rakhine state Sittwe. The military junta has been accused of carrying out this massacre on the pretext of rounding up residents they felt supported the rebel ethnic group- Arakan Army.

The military, however, has denied any role in the killings though they have said that they retaliated against some people who were trying to challenge them leaving three dead.

It may be recalled that the outbreak of the civil war in Sittwe led the Indian consulate in Sittwe to relocate the Yangon in February.

Sittwe is important for India as it has invested in making a port there which is a strategic part of the $484 million in the Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Project.

Meanwhile, the massacre has drawn criticism from the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“Recent attacks by the Myanmar military have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including in Rakhine State and Sagaing Region.Indiscriminate aerial bombings and human rights violations continue to be reported in the country. Those responsible must be held accountable,” said Antonio Guterres on Saturday.

Houses and a monastery have been burnt down.

“The attacks took place after junta troops detained residents of Byian Phyu village over suspicion of their links with ethnic rebel group like the Arakan Army (which has gained  control of 10 townships out of 17 in Rakhine state),” according to a source. These civilians were killed near a lake where they were interrogated. All those killed were men whose bodies were later burned.

Men are being targetted to spread fear amongst other residents and also to reduce the people who can shield women and children. Reportedly many men were taken away as detainees. Allegations of rape of three women have also surfaced. The military is reportedly taking away the phones of the residents to check their link with the ethnic rebel groups like the AA.

Junta soldiers reportedly raped at least three female villagers and two women were killed. Survivors confirmed that junta soldiers took them away, allegedly to check their phones.

AA has alleged that their rival Arakan Liberation Partu (ALP) was involved in the gruesome killings.

The Junta has denied it’s involvement in the massacre and said that some men were called for questioning during which three were killed when they tried to seize a gun on May 29th.

Residents of Sittwe want to leave as go to safer zones, but all routes have been blocked.

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