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Myanmar military dumps bodies of 4 civilians in river, lake

Junta troops in Myanmar’s Mandalay region tortured and killed four carpenters before dumping their bodies in a river and a lake, residents told RFA Friday.

Locals found the remains of 28-year-old Ye Naung Soe and 46-year-old Kyaw Myo from Madaya township, and 30-year-old Aye Soe Kyi from Singu township in a tributary of the Ayeyarwady River on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, they found the body of the unknown man, believed to be in his thirties, in a lake near Madaya’s Sa Kyin village. 

The men had been arrested by a column of around 50 troops who raided Nyaung Oke village in Madaya township on July 14.

Ye Naung Soe was tortured by the troops in front of villagers, according to a resident who didn’t want to be named for security reasons.

“He was dragged along by a rope tied around his neck. He was also beaten with wooden sticks,” said the local. 

“Two of them were tortured to death on the day of their arrest. The other two were arrested and taken to the monastery in Nat Gyi Sin village, Madaya township, where the junta troops stopped.

“On July 15, they were tortured to death and thrown into the river. When we found the bodies, there were many injuries.”

Another local said a fisherman who tried to retrieve the bodies was beaten by the troops. Villagers had to wait until the column had left before retrieving the badly decomposed bodies.

They were cremated on Wednesday.

RFA’s calls to the Mandalay region junta spokesperson, Thein Htay, went unanswered Friday.

Nyaung Oke village has more than 300 homes and more than 1,000 residents. Locals told RFA there has been no fighting recently and they didn’t know why the four men were arrested and killed.

More than 3,800 pro-democracy activists and civilians have been killed since the February 2021 coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.