Myanmar mass killing
Video grab of mass graves in Myanmar. Image credit - BBC

A BBC investigation has revealed that the Myanmar military carried out a series of mass killings of civilians in July resulting in the deaths of at least 40 men.

A BBC report quoted eyewitnesses and survivors as saying that soldiers, some of whom were 17 years old, rounded up villagers before separating the men and killing them.

The BBC report, published on Monday along with video clip and images from the spots of the the incidents, appears to show that most of the victims were tortured first and buried in shallow graves.

It has been reported that the civilians were killed in July in 4 separate incidents in Myanmar‘s Kani Township.

Kani Township in Sagaing district of Myanmar remained a stronghold of people who have resisted the military since the coup.

The Myanmar military has faced resistance from civilians since it seized the control of the country in a February coup, deposing a democratically-elected government led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

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The report said BBC spoke to 11 witnesses in Kani Township and compared their accounts with mobile phone footage and photographs collected by Myanmar Witness, a UK-based NGO that investigates incidents of human rights violations in the country.

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BBC reported that the largest incident of mass killing took place in Yin village where at least 14 men were tortured or beaten to death and their bodies thrown in a forested gully.

The report quoted a woman, whose brother, nephew and brother-in-law were killed as saying: “We couldn’t stand to watch it so we kept our heads down, crying.”

She added, “We begged them not to do it. They didn’t care. They asked the women, ‘Are your husbands among them? If they are, do your last rites’.”

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The report reported a man, who managed to escape the killings, as saying that the soldiers inflicted horrifying abuse on the men for several hours before they were killed.

The man said, “They (military) were tied up, beaten with stones and rifle butts and tortured all day.”

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“Some soldiers looked young, maybe 17 or 18, but some were really old. There was also a woman with them,” he alleged.

BBC reported that the United Nations is currently investigating the alleged human rights abuses carried out by the Myanmar military.

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