Bangkok, Jul 5 (EFE).- Myanmar security forces killed at least 31 people over the weekend in a village in the center of the country during a clash with opponents of the military junta that has governed the country since a coup on Feb. 1, according to local media reports.
About 150 soldiers arrived at the village of Satpyarkyin, near Mandalay, at around 6 am on Friday and opened fire on locals who tried to flee, the Myanmar Now news outlet reported on Sunday.
The Depayin People’s Defense Force (PDF), an armed militia opposed to the military, said that its members clashed with the security forces for at least four hours on Friday morning and resumed fighting in the afternoon.
A total of 31 bodies were found were found by Saturday afternoon, a local told Myanmar Now.
The victims included 27 PDF members and four civilians.
Myanmar’s official newspaper, The Global New Light of Myanmar, said that “armed terrorists”, in reference to the militiamen, killed one soldier and wounded six others after ambushing them during their patrol in the area.
Five months after the military coup, the junta has still not managed to take control of the entire country during this time despite brutal repression of dissidents.
At least 890 people have been killed as a result of the crackdown by security forces, according to the latest data from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) advocacy group.
Tired of the little progress made by the peaceful demonstrations, some protesters have formed militias or joined armed ethnic groups in the country to put up armed resistance to the military, while clashes between the armed forces and ethnic guerrillas — who demand greater autonomy for their regions — have intensified in several areas across Myanmar since the coup.
The military has justified the coup alleging fraud in elections held in November, in which ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party repeated its resounding victory of 2015, with international observers backing the polls. EFE