onsdag 15. mars 2023

Myanmar monastery attack kills 22 as conflicting accounts emerge of alleged massacre

At least 22 people, including three monks, were killed at a monastery in Myanmar’s Southern Shan State on Saturday as local insurgent groups and the military-backed junta accused each other of carrying out a massacre. Myanmar has been mired in political violence since military leader Min Aung Hlaing seized power in a 2021 coup that upturned any hope the Southeast Asian nation of 55 million people would become a functioning democracy.

The coup was followed by a brutal military crackdown against pro-democracy protesters that saw civilians shot in the street, abducted in nighttime raids and allegedly tortured in detention. Since the coup, at least 2,900 people in Myanmar have been killed by junta troops and over 17,500 arrested, the majority of whom are still in detention, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

The coup has also resulted in a surge in fighting between the military and a raft of resistance groups allied with long-established ethnic militias in a country that has been plagued for decades by insurgencies.