Did Myanmar Junta forces burn 11 villagers alive, including 5 teenagers?

We came across this post on Twitter:

According to the writer, Soe Zeya Tun, a Pulitzer winning photographer who works for Reuters, the Junta had set fire to 11 villagers in Dontaw Village, part of Myanmar’s Salingyi Township on Tuesday, attaching a photo and video that shows the incident in graphic detail here.

Public reaction to the tweet was swift, with a hashtag #BurntAliveByJunta being created and trending on Twitter, discussing the killings, with some tweets including additional pictures of the incident.

According to the National Unity Government of Myanmar, the government in exile that had been ousted by the junta in the 2021 Myanmar coup d’état, initial reports state that 11 civilians in total were killed in the attack, with five of them being under the age of 18, with the report having been posted on their official Twitter page:

Conducting our research on the incident, while there have not been many reports of the incident published, we did find an article from the International Business Times about the incident. In the article, it reports that the head of Dontaw village’s defense team described the incident as having unfolded after three landmines exploded near the North Yama Bridge, over 1,000 feet north of Dontaw village between 7 am and 11 am on Tuesday. Following the explosion, the army captured 11 villagers inside a betel farm.

The locals, after hearing continuous gunfire for about an hour, saw flames rising from the site where the locals were captured by the army. Additionally, an official from the Salingyi People’s Defence Force and the leader of the Dontaw village defence team had both corroborated the incident, lending additional credence to the legitimacy of the incident.

Based on existing reports then, as well as the presence of both photographic and video evidence, we rate the claim as likely true, pending further updates from the press and the Myanmar Military Council.

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