Save the Children Claims 38 Killed in Military Massacre in Burma, 2 Staff Missing

By Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer based in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.
December 27, 2021 Updated: December 27, 2021

Save the Children, a United Kingdom-based humanitarian organization, claimed that at least 38 villagers were killed by military troops in the Kayah state of Burma, also known as Myanmar, while two of its staff members went missing.

The organization said in a statement that two of its employees who were traveling home for the holidays after conducting humanitarian response work in a nearby community had been “caught up in the incident and remain missing.”

“We have confirmation that their private vehicle was attacked and burned out. The military reportedly forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed others, and burned their bodies,” it stated.

More than 30 villagers were reportedly killed in a massacre in Mo So village, situated in the western part of Hpruso township in Kayah state–formerly known as Karenni state. The killing is believed to have been carried out by the military regime that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi in a February coup.

The Karenni State Consultative Council alleged the military troops had “splashed [the captured villagers] with gasoline and burned them alive on trucks near Mo So village.” It stated that the troops had also burned the civilians’ vehicles.

“Four men from the Border Guard Force of Karenni Nationalities Peoples’ Liberation Front, who jumped in to negotiate for releasing the civilians, were tied with their hands behind their backs and shot in their heads by the [military’s] gunmen,” the council said on Sunday.

It remains unclear how many people have died in the massacre, but Save the Children claimed that “at least 38 people, including women and children, were killed in Kayah State.”

Inger Ashing, a chief executive at Save the Children, said the investigation of the incident is still ongoing but added that the attack against humanitarian staff “cannot be tolerated,” denouncing the attack as a breach of International Humanitarian Law.

“We are horrified at the violence carried out against innocent civilians and our staff, who are dedicated humanitarians, supporting millions of children in need across Myanmar,” Ashing said in a statement.

Nearly half of the 150,000 Karenni population have been displaced since May due to brutal human rights violations by the military junta in Kayah state, including artillery shelling and burning, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group.

It claimed that more than 652 houses and buildings in Kayah state had been destroyed so far, and hundreds of innocent civilians had been killed by the troops.

“We, the civil society organizations, strongly condemn the actions that amount to international crimes perpetrated by the military junta in Karenni State, and we will stand with Karenni people to get justice,” the group said in a Facebook post.

Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer based in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.