The bodies included two women, three men, and two that were burnt beyond recognition
The bodies of seven local people who were killed last week following airstrikes on the village of Yae Myet in Sagaing Region’s Ye-U Township were discovered on Friday.
Residents of the village told Myanmar Now that the bodies included two women and three men. The other two bodies could not be identified at all, they said.
“We still don’t know who they are. Some had been hit by artillery shells and were badly disfigured, while others had been burnt beyond recognition,” said one local, citing members of the Ye-U People’s Defence Force (PDF) who found the bodies.
Another resident who saw the two burnt bodies said they had been partially buried.
“They were buried together in front of a burned-down house. However, they were only half buried,” he said.
Villagers and PDF members who attempted to cremate the remaining bodies had to abandon their efforts after a military jet flew overhead, he added.
The military used five helicopters to carry out airstrikes on Yae Myet last Monday. The village of roughly 400 households was subsequently occupied by around 100 troops for the next three days.
Residents who had fled the attack said they could see flames rising from the village two days later. Those who returned after the soldiers left found that more than 60 houses had been torched. Other property, including 30 motorcycles and other vehicles, had also been destroyed by fire.
In a statement released last Tuesday, the military said it targeted Yae Myet because it had received information that local PDF forces were holding a meeting there.
Residents noted, however, that no mention was made of civilian casualties or the destruction of property.
Around 5,000 people from neighbouring villages, including Gwet, Naypukone, Euyin, Natgyikone and Sinthaykone, were also displaced by attacks last week.
The military has increasingly deployed helicopters and fighter jets against resistance forces around the country, including in Sagaing and Magway regions and Kayin (Karen) State, resulting in heavy civilian casualties.