Humanitarian organization Save the Children said that two of its Myanmar staff were missing on Saturday, after the charred remains of more than 30 people were found following an attack a monitoring group and local media blamed on junta troops.
Myanmar has been in chaos since a coup in February, with more than 1,300 people killed in a crackdown by security forces, a local monitoring group has said.
“People’s Defense Forces” (PDF) have sprung up across the country to fight the junta, and have drawn the military into a bloody stalemate of clashes and reprisals.
On Saturday, photographs appeared on social media purporting to show two burnt-out trucks and a car on a highway in Hpruso township in eastern Kayah State, with charred bodies inside.
A member of a local PDF group said its fighters had found the vehicles in the morning after hearing that the military had stopped several vehicles in Hpruso on Friday.
“When we went to check in the area this morning, we found dead bodies burnt in two trucks. We found 27 dead bodies,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“We found 27 skulls, but there were other dead bodies on the truck, which had been burned to pieces so we couldn’t count them,” said another witness who did not want to be named.
Save the Children later on Saturday said that two of its staff had been “caught up” in the incident and were missing.
It added that it had “confirmation that their private vehicle was attacked and burned out.”
The two had been traveling home after carrying out humanitarian work in the region, the charity said in a statement, adding that it has since suspended its work in several regions.
“We are horrified at the violence carried out against innocent civilians and our staff, who are dedicated humanitarians, supporting millions of children in need across Myanmar,” Save the Children chief executive officer Inger Ashing said.
The junta previously said its troops had been attacked in Hpruso on Friday, after they attempted to stop seven vehicles driving in a “suspicious way.”
Troops had killed a number of people in the clash that followed, spokesman Zaw Min Tun said.
The Myanmar Witness monitor said it had confirmed local media reports and witness accounts from local fighters “that 35 people including children and women were burnt and killed by the military on 24th December Hpruso township.”
STRATEGY TWEAK: Arrivals to Taiwan testing positive for COVID-19 are to be escorted to an ambulance via a special exit and hospitalized, the health minister said Starting today, arrivals on long-haul flights must wait for the results of COVID-19 tests before finishing airport entry procedures, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center also reported six locally transmitted cases of COVID-19, possibly linked to the airport cluster, and 26 imported cases. As more than two dozen local COVID-19 cases have since Monday last week been reported among workers at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and their close contacts, as well as a few people likely linked to them, the center on Sunday said that entry quarantine procedures would be revised. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中),
SEARCH CONTINUES: The fighter jet disappeared from radar screens at 3:23pm, about 30 minutes after it took off, air force Major General Liu Hui-chien said Search-and-rescue teams yesterday searched for an air force pilot after his F-16V Block 20 jet went missing during an afternoon bombing exercise near the coastline of Chiayi County’s Dongshih Township (東石鄉), the air force said. The search continued as of press time last evening. The single-seat jet (serial number 6650) disappeared from radar screens at 3:23pm, about 30 minutes after it took off from Chiayi Air Base, air force Inspector General Major General Liu Hui-chien (柳惠千) told a news conference in Taipei. All F-16Vs are temporarily suspended from exercises pending the completion of emergency checks on the fleet, he said. The fighter piloted by
LUNAR NEW YEAR: The nation is expecting 4,200 international travelers to arrive today and 3,900 tomorrow, as people return home for the holidays, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said it expects imported cases of COVID-19 to further increase today and tomorrow — the peak period for international arrivals before the Lunar New Year holiday. The nation has seen more imported cases of COVID-19 since it implemented a new policy on Tuesday requiring travelers on long-haul flights to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test upon arrival. Those who test positive are taken directly to hospitals from airports. Most of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 were travelers arriving from the US, CECC data showed. On Tuesday, 58 of the 625 travelers arriving at Taiwan
TRACEABLE: The expansion of a cluster infection appears to be slowing, as genome sequencing results show a clearer link among confirmed cases, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 96 COVID-19 infections: four domestic and 92 imported cases. Three of the domestically transmitted cases are bank workers likely linked to previously reported airport clusters, it added. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, attributed the high number of imported cases in part to the implementation on Tuesday of a tighter entry policy. Travelers arriving on long-haul flights are immediately tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and must wait for results of their rapid polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on site. Those who test negative are allowed to proceed with normal