A village in central Myanmar has been torched by clashes between security forces and local militants, killing at least two people.
Locals told the BBC “200 of the 240 houses in Qin village were flattened by the military on Tuesday.”
“The incident started after the forces clashed with local militants who opposed the ruling regime,” they said.
UK Ambassador to Myanmar Dan Chuck has condemned the attack.
“The military junta burned down a village in Magway, killing elderly people, again showing that the military continues to commit heinous crimes and the indifference of the Myanmar people,” a Facebook post said.
But state television blamed the fire on “terrorists.”
According to the Reuters news agency, MRTV reported that any media outlet citing another reason was “deliberately conspiring to discredit the military.”
A resident told the BBC on Tuesday that security forces had clashed with the PDF. These groups were formed following a recent military coup and began to fight with weapons at home for police and the army.
One resident said, “When the PDF was withdrawn, they entered [قوات الأمن] Went to the village and set fire to houses located in the south. Almost the whole village was burnt to ashes. “
Another resident said villagers fled to the woods outside Kin Maw after troops opened fire. Two elderly people died in the blaze and many more are missing, locals said.
“There were fires everywhere in the village and we saw big fires. We had to flee to save our lives from the bullets, we had to see them from a distance,” said one of the residents.
According to Reuters, the fire was so large that it was recorded by NASA’s Satellite Fire Surveillance System at 15:22 GMT on Tuesday.
The Myanmar military, which has been accused of rigging the previous year’s general election, seized power in February – a referendum that independent election observers say was largely fair and just.
Protests spread across the country after the regime change. Security forces responded with brutal repression, killing more than 800 people and arresting nearly 5,000.