Myanmar junta burns down village to quell anti-coup protests

Government troops in Myanmar have burned most of a village, leaving at least two elderly people burned to death, in the country’s central heartland, a resident said Wednesday, confirming reports by independent media and on social networks. The action appeared to be an attempt to suppress resistance against the ruling military junta.

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.” 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, overthrowing the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, a nonviolent civil disobedience movement arose to challenge military rule, but the junta’s attempt to repress it with deadly force fuelled rather than quelled resistance. 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. All that remained of Kin Ma on Wednesday was about 30 houses, with some 200 homes reduced to piles of ash and bricks. Most of the village’s residents remained in hiding in nearby forests