At least three Myanmar students were killed in an early morning military raid in the country's northwest, a student union said Friday.

The Southeast Asian nation's junta has unleashed deadly violence on its opponents since the military ousted Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government in a February 2021 coup.

The junta is facing resistance from anti-coup "People's Defence Force" militias and long-established ethnic rebel armies.

The All-Burma Federation of Student Unions said in a Facebook post that the students had been killed in a Friday raid on an office where activists stayed in the Sagaing region's Budalin township.

The region -- a hotbed of anti-junta resistance -- has seen heavy fighting in recent months.

The student union last week had posted pictures on social media of student activists protesting the junta with banners and flags.

A local villager who declined to be named due to fear of reprisals said the three student activists, aged late teens to early 20s, had died from stab wounds.

"They stabbed knives into their chests. They cut out their tongues," the villager told AFP, adding that at least five houses had been burnt down in the incident and an unknown number of people arrested.

AFP has sought comment from the junta's information team.

More than 3,800 civilians have been killed since the putsch in the junta's deadly crackdown on dissent, according to a local monitoring group.

The junta puts the death toll at about 5,000 people, including teachers.