Myanmar military reverts to strategy of massacres, burnings, AP investigation finds

A teacher in Mindat city said the military fired artillery into the city so that “houses would shake like an earthquake,” she said. She fled to India in October after her cousin, a member of the PDF, was killed by a sniper.

Half a day’s drive west of Mindat is Matupi, a town with two military camps that is now deprived of young people, according to a college student who fled with her two teenage brothers in October. She said the military locked people in houses and set fire to them, hid bombs in churches and schools, killed three protesters she knew and left bodies in the middle of the streets to terrorize people.

Thantlang, a town near the Indian border, has also been evacuated from its residents after four months of heavy fighting, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization. Drone footage captured by the group in October and December and seen by the AP shows fires in buildings and charred churches, collapsed schools and destroyed houses. The footage matches fires discovered by satellites and interviews with villagers. NBC News was unable to verify this footage.

Still, there is growing evidence that the military’s strategy of intimidation may steal rather than intimidate people’s resistance.

“Instead of dying on the run, I will use my life for a purpose,” said a Kani survivor.

Likewise, the servant who told the AP about the Done Taw massacre is now defiant and swears to proceed with the PDF.

“I just decided to fight for her until the end,” he said. “I’ll do everything I can until I die or get arrested.”

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