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  • Writer's pictureMyanmar Witness

Mon Taing Pin and In Pin Massacre

Massacre linked to Myanmar Military’s 708 LIB


[Warning: Graphic] This report contains graphic information. Myanmar Witness has blurred graphic imagery and images which could lead to the identification of the victims and perpetrators.


To read the full report, download the PDF.


Key Event Details

  • Location of Incident: Ye-U township (ရေဦး), Sagaing region (စစ်ကိုင်း)Mon Taing Pin village (မုံတိုင်ပင်ရွာ) [22.880079, 95.456016]In Pin village (အင်ပင်) [22.882550, 95.463489]

  • Date/Time of Incident: 10-14 May 2022

  • Alleged Perpetrator(s) and/or Involvement:

    • Myanmar Military 708 Light Infantry Battalion (LIB)

  • Conclusions:

    • Images and videos allegedly from a soldier’s phone associated with the massacre of civilians were geolocated to Mon Taing Pin.

    • Myanmar Witness has cross-referenced the videos, images, and metadata to establish visual links between the photos, determine a timeline of events, and identify the individuals shown.

    • This investigation shows a definitive link between the Myanmar military and the execution of civilians.

    • The soldiers uniforms, patches, weapon stickers, and weapons signal that they belong to the 708 LIB.

    • 708 LIB soldiers are pictured surrounding detained civilians in the Mon Taing Pin monastery.

    • 708 LIB soldiers are pictured with civilians who had been executed and had their throats cut.

    • Myanmar Witness geolocated a video of 708 LIB soldiers to Pone Ta High School, in which they claim to kill at least five people by slitting their throats.


Executive Summary


On 11 May 2022, 27 villagers were executed by soldiers in Mon Taing Pin (မုံတိုင်ပင်ရွာ) and In Pin (အင်ပင်), Ye-U township (ရေဦး), Sagaing region (စစ်ကိုင်း). While the motivation for the attack is unconfirmed, Myanmar Witness has tracked the movement of military convoys in north-west Myanmar since the February 2021 coup. Their activity has centred around quelling political dissent and the pro-democracy movement, often through mass killings and arson.


Figure: Map indicating the location of Mon Taing Pin.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that the bodies were identified after soldiers from the Myanmar military spent the night in the area, as a stopover during a military operation. It was alleged that most of the villagers had fled prior to the military’s arrival. RFA reported that some of the bodies had gunshot wounds. Many of the bodies were burnt beyond recognition; however, those who could be identified were residents of the local villages.



Figure: visual count of arrested civilians and identification of at least seven armed individuals.


Following claims related to troop movements and attacks in the Mon Taing Pin area, Myanmar Witness began monitoring events and obtained a cache of information, photos and videos purportedly from a soldier’s phone (released by RFA). The images and their metadata, which have been verified by Myanmar Witness, reveal a chronological timeline outlining the movements of a specific group of soldiers - identified by Myanmar Witness as the 708 LIB.


Myanmar Witness has cross-referenced the videos, images, and metadata to establish visual links between the photos, and the individuals within them. This investigation shows a definitive link between the Myanmar military, specifically the 708 LIB, and the executed civilians. In the images, the civilians were seen on the ground, hands tied behind their backs. In other images, civilians are seen with their throats cut in an execution-style manner.


Figure: photos from the soldier’s phone showing soldiers standing over the bodies of executed civilians. The images have been blurred by Myanmar Witness due to their graphic nature.

The connection between alleged perpetrators and the victims is strengthened with video footage recorded by the soldiers and published by RFA, which revealed the soldiers’ intention to kill and admissions that they killed people by slitting their throats. Myanmar Witness was able to geolocate the imagery of the detained civilians to the Mon Taing Pin monastery and the video of the soldiers to the high school in Pone Ta (ပုန်းတကား).


Figure: [Left] The background of the video of soldiers talking about killing individuals. This image has been altered by Myanmar Witness, mirroring the image to reflect an accurate background layout of the buildings. [Right] Google Earth satellite imagery from 2022 update. The red box highlights the building which is visible in the background and the orange box highlights where SAC troops were based.


Figure: [Left] Image highlighting buildings visible in the background of footage uploaded by Khit Thit Media, of a soldier taking a video. This was geolocated by Myanmar Witness [Right].


Figure: Images of Pone Ta Kar High School, sourced from the internet.


Figure: Myanmar Witness believes the footage was taken between these two buildings.


Myanmar Witness has identified 708 LIB as responsible for the massacre following an analysis of the soldiers’ clothing and weapons. Northwestern Regional Command patches are visible on the soldiers’ military fatigues and the weapon stickers identify the battalion. Additionally, the weapons carried by the individuals signal that this could be a special forces unit and reinforces the Myanmar military’s involvement in the massacre.


Figure: A selection of the 143 images in the cache of photos found on the soldier’s phone that were used to cross-reference the faces of the soldiers.

Myanmar Witness’ investigation also shows the same soldiers from the 708 LIB in Hmaw Taw (မှော်တော်) and Kyun Lel (​​ကျွန်းလယ်) villages with Wa Tha Wa, a Buddhist nationalist monk who has previously been linked with the training of pro-military militias and who is a senior figure in the Ma Ba Tha nationalist monk party.


Figure: Wa Tha Wa seen at the flower ceremony with members of 708 LIB that were linked to the Mon Taing Pin massacre.


Figure: [Left] Wa Tha Wa seen in footage with the military. [Right] Wa Tha Wa addressing soldiers. Source.

This investigation provides evidence of Myanmar military soldiers’ mindset and the lack of remorse for attacks on villages deemed as supporting pro-democracy forces (PDF) or ethnic armed organisations. This reflects a wider trend, which has also been revealed within a video of soldiers attacking Min Ywar (မင်းရွာ) village, Yesayo (ရေစကြို) township, analysed by Myanmar Witness within the ‘Thirsting for Blood’ report. The military has been linked to numerous violent attacks on villages throughout Myanmar. The Mon Taing Pin massacre is just one example of violence towards civilians perpetrated by the military. As a result, Myanmar Witness continues to monitor their activity.


[Warning: Graphic] This report contains graphic information. Myanmar Witness has blurred graphic imagery and images which could lead to the identification of the victims and perpetrators.


To read the full report, download the PDF.


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