KARENNI STATE, Myanmar – According to villagers and an anti-junta armed resistance group stationed in the area, the remains of at least 35 burnt victims, including one belonging to a child, were discovered near a village in eastern Myanmar’s Karenni (Kayah) State early Christmas morning.
On Saturday, the remains were discovered on eight burnt vehicles near Moso village. The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) has accused Myanmar military personnel stationed in the area on Friday of carrying out the atrocity.
On condition of anonymity, the commander KNDF’s Brigade 4 said its members spotted smoke rising out of the parked vehicles around 11 a.m. on Friday, but they could not see the burned bodies because the fire was still raging.
Due to concerns that junta troops may still be present in the area, the KNDF could only examine the area surrounding the trucks for a short time that day. They did not see the entire magnitude of the massacre until the following morning when they returned to the scene.
The KNDF commander said that a child’s fingers, estimated to be under the age of five, were found among the burnt bones. He said that before the flames started, they had observed a small car carrying a mother and child pass down the road leading to that location.
The commander suggested that the Myanmar army personnel may have purposefully set the vehicles on fire with gasoline as an accelerant, pointing out that the vehicles were parked side by side.
“They [the junta soldiers] are no longer humans. Their crimes are worse than those committed by fascists,” the commander said.