At least 22 people were shot dead at close range in central Myanmar last week, according to a doctor's post-mortem report, in what opponents of military rule say was a massacre of civilians conducted by the army.
A spokesman for Myanmar's junta, which staged a coup two years ago to depose the elected government, said its soldiers had been involved in clashes with rebel fighters in the Pinlaung region of southern Shan state but had not harmed any civilians.
Junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun said the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) and another rebel group entered the village of Nan Neint after government forces arrived to provide security with a local people's militia.
"When the terrorist groups violently opened fire … some villagers were killed and injured," he said.
He said the army had only counterattacked against the three resistance groups, and reports that soldiers were responsible for killing villagers were misinformation.
Reuters could not independently verify any of the claims.
A spokesman for the KNDF said its soldiers entered Nan Neint on Sunday and found dead bodies scattered at a Buddhist monastery.
Video and photographs provided by the KNDF and another group, the Karenni Revolution Union (KRU), showed bullet wounds to the torso and heads of the dead bodies and bullet holes in the monastery walls.
Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the material.
Source: ABC News
BDST: 1300 HRS, MAR 18, 2023