Junta troops have beaten two men and a teenage boy to death after arresting them at a checkpoint in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region, according to locals citing sources close to the military.
They identified the victims as 14-year-old Ngan Min Haung, 20-year-old Shwe Min Tan and 25-year-old La Min Tan, all ethnic Chin from two villages in Tamu township.
They were arrested on Monday evening at a military checkpoint as they headed to Tamu town.
“The three were on two motorcycles. They were stopped at Kun Taung checkpoint and arrested for no reason,” said a local who didn’t want to be identified for safety reasons.
“The bodies were dumped after being heavily tortured. I heard they died on January 24, but when family members went to claim the bodies the soldiers lied, saying they hadn’t been arrested. But there are witnesses who saw troops arrest them at the checkpoint.”
They were beaten until Tuesday morning, according to sources close to the checkpoint who spoke with locals. They said they could hear the men screaming and saw the dead bodies lined up on Tuesday afternoon.
RFA was unable to contact the dead men’s families to confirm the information and calls to Sagaing region’s junta spokesman, Aye Hlaing, went unanswered.
Kun Taung checkpoint is 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Tamu town. It is staffed by troops from Infantry Battalion 266, based in Chin state, to the west of Sagaing region.
Locals said the troops have been strictly checking the flow of goods and people to Tamu city in recent months as fighting with ethnic armies and People’s Defense Forces intensifies in the region.
Nearly 3,000 civilians and pro-democracy campaigners have been killed by Myanmar’s military since it overthrew the country’s democratically elected National Unity Government two years ago, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).
Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.