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Kin Ma Village

15 June 2021

Summary


The village of Kinma (Pauk township, Magway region) was heavily damaged by fires following clashes between SAC forces and local fighters. Photos circulated on social media have been geolocated by Myanmar Witness to the village, and correspond with the location of the heat signature of the fire picked up by NASA. There are reports of 2, and potentially 4 casualties.

According to interviews with villagers, SAC forces started the fire with the intention of destroying the village in retaliation for attacks by local fighters. Myanmar state media claim ‘terrorists’ torched a house, which then set fire to the entire village. This latter claim is inconsistent with heat signature data from the scene. Both the manner in which the village was burnt, and claims by state media, are notably similar to SAC attacks against villages in nearby North Rakhine.  

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Investigation timeline

These are our working assumptions and subject to being updated.

  • Sat 12 June
    Gunmen on motorbikes reportedly shot at the house of the SAC-allied administrator of nearby Deedotekwin village.
    One of the motorcycle number plates was traced back to Kinma village. (Myanmar Now)

  • Tuesday 15 June
    Locals start fleeing the village, some elderly and less mobile residents remained behind (Myanmar Now, DPA)

    • Around 11.00
      Gunfire was exchanged between local fighters and SAC forces in and around Kinma village. (Myanmar Now). The local fighters reportedly retreated and were pursued into Kinma village (BBC

    • Around 15.00/16.00
      Gunfire ends, (Myanmar Now, Twitter user)

    • From 15.00/16.00 onwards
      Locals report SAC forces setting fire to multiple homes in Kinma village (Myanmar Now, BBC).

    • 21.22
      NASA’s auto fire tracking service picked up a heat signature from a fire in Kinma village

Further Claims

According to interviews with locals, at least two elderly residents were killed in the fire (Myanmar Now, DPA). These have been named on social media as U Mya Maung & Daw G Mei (Twitter user, YouTube User). Further social media posts include claims that a local was shot in the leg by an SAC soldier and that 4 elderly people were killed in the fire (Twitter user, YouTube user) that two individuals were taken away by SAC forces and one returned unconscious (Twitter user)  and that multiple livestock was lost (Twitter user). 

What we have

Clear evidence of the destruction of Kinma Village by fire
Heat signature data, geolocated photos showing the aftermath of the fire, satellite imagery showing the aftermath of the fire aligned with 15/16 June.


Media reports with eyewitness testimony stating that Tatmadaw started the fire following clashes between SAC and local fighters.

What we need

Photos or videos of Tatmadaw in the area at the time of the incident.

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