At least 17 villagers, mostly teenagers, have been killed in Myanmar after junta forces cracked down on villages while fighting civilian defence forces in the central region of Magway this week, according to reports in local media.
The incident came two days after a call for a country-wide uprising by the National Unity Government, which claims to represent the elected government ousted after a coup in February.
The Myanmar Now web portal said that fighting in the village of Myin Thar started on Thursday and at least 13 villagers with the civilian defence forces and four non-combatants were killed by junta forces in the fighting.
According to the reports, the victims were mostly teenagers - 12 were younger than 18 - who had joined the civilian defence forces to fight the military.
Some reports put the death toll at at least 20.
"It started on Thursday and we collected the bodies yesterday." a villager told the DPA news agency by phone.
"They used heavy artillery and guns to kill but the village defence forces had only hand-made rifles. They also burned the houses in the village and bullied the elder villagers, women and children who sheltered at the monastery near the village."
Myanmar has been in a political turmoil since the military staged the coup on February 1.
The move sparked widespread resistance at first, which prompted a harsh military response, leaving more than 1000 people dead, according to activists group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.