Pro-Junta Troops Burn Church, Village In Myanmar

Troops loyal to Myanmar’s junta have torched an entire village — including a Baptist church and a dozen other buildings–in the country’s embattled Chin state, residents said on Thursday, prompting condemnation from a local human rights group which called the act a “war crime” under international law, reported Radio Free Asia (RFA).

The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon, after a military convoy of around 40 vehicles and two tanks headed from Falam township to the Chin state capital Hakha was attacked about three miles outside of Falam by the anti-junta Chin Defence Force militia, an armed group formed to combat Myanmar’s military in the western state, sources told RFA’s Myanmar Service.

The military set up camp in Rialti village following the clash. The Rialti village is nearly some five miles further along the road to Hakha from the site where the convoy was attacked, RFA reported.

The troops only left the village on Thursday after making sure that the buildings were ablaze, RFA quoted locals as saying.

On Thursday, Junta spokesman Major General Zaw Min Tun dismissed reports that government troops were responsible for the burning of the church and homes in Rialti village. General Zaw said that the military “does not open fire on any religious building or in any village”, RFA reported. (ANI)

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