Bangkok, Nov 17 (EFE).- At least 13 civilians, including several children, lost their lives in airstrikes conducted by the Myanmar army in the western part of the country, a local NGO reported on Friday.
The Chin Human Rights Organization said that junta’s aircraft bombed the village of Vuilu in the mountainous western state of Chin, destroying two schools, a church, and six houses.
“The deadly airstrike killed at least 13 and seriously injured 3 others on Nov. 15,” the nonprofit said in a statement. The victims included several children, the source underlined.
According to the NGO, the village had no presence of “combatants” during the attack, and never witnessed any clashes between the army and rebel groups since the 2021 military coup that ended a decade of democratic transition in the country by toppling the elected government led by the now-imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The military takeover has plunged the country into a deep political, social and economic crisis, triggering a spiral of violence, particularly with the emergence of new pro-democracy forces joining hands with ethnic minority militias, exacerbating the country’s decades-long ethnic conflicts.
On Oct. 27, rebel forces, comprising pro-democracy forces and various ethnic minority armed groups, launched a large-scale operation against junta troops in western and northeastern regions of the country.
The allied forces, led by the self-proclaimed National Unity Government, have so far gained control of at least 10 cities from the army in the west and northeast.
Humanitarian NGOs have expressed concerns that the ongoing offensives could exacerbate the humanitarian situation if clashes spread to major cities in Myanmar, one of Southeast Asia’s most impoverished nations.
According to the United Nations, the ongoing operation has already displaced 200,000 people and resulted in the death of tens of civilians. EFE