Security forces set ablaze a village in central Myanmar after clashing there with opponents of the ruling junta, leaving at least two elderly people burned to death, several village residents said on Wednesday.
MRTV state television said the blaze on Tuesday at Kin Ma, a village of about 800 people in the Magway Region, was caused by “terrorists” and that media who reported otherwise were “deliberately plotting to discredit the military”.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the cause of the blaze. A junta spokesperson did not answer calls requesting comment.
All that remained of Kin Ma on Wednesday was about 30 houses, with some 200 homes reduced to piles of ash and bricks, according to several villagers who gave accounts of the incident by telephone and photographs seen by Reuters.
The villagers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that security forces set the fires after confronting opponents of the junta and that at least two people were killed.
A 32-year-old volunteer assisting people displaced from the village said the two people killed were elderly residents who had been unable to flee their home during the fire. He said some people returned to the village on Wednesday and found the bodies.
Most of the village’s residents remained in hiding in nearby forests, the villagers who spoke with Reuters said.