Conflicts & War

Death toll crosses 165 in Myanmar military massacre

Bangkok, Apr 13 (EFE).- More than 165 people, including 19 children, have been killed and 30 wounded in airstrikes by the Myanmar army on an opposition administration ceremony in the northwestern Sagaing region, the self-declared National Unity Government (NUG) said Thursday.

This incident marks the bloodiest known attack by the military regime since the coup on Feb.1, 2021.

The NUG’s human rights ministry tweeted that their government was the target of the attack, which occurred Tuesday during the inauguration of one of its administrative offices in Pazigyi, a village of about 3,800 inhabitants in the rebel bastion of Sagaing.

A spokesperson of the NUG, made up in part of former lawmakers from elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party, told EFE that as per reports from the clinics in the area run by the civil disobedience movement – that emerged after the coup -, there have been around 168 deaths.

The spokesperson also spoke of the difficulty in counting the number of casualties due to the mutilation of the bodies in the bombings.

After the first airstrike on the ceremony, attended by many women and children, there was another bombing on Tuesday afternoon when volunteers were carrying out search and rescue operations.

A survivor of the attack, who asked not to be named, told EFE on Wednesday that Army aircraft dropped a bomb directly on the crowd. “When I crouched and looked back there were children of 3, 5, 7 years.”

The escalation of violence comes after coup leader General Min Aung Hlaing warned on the occasion of Armed Forces Day on Mar.27 that he would “firmly placate” the resistance made up of the NUG and its armed wing, the People’s Defence Force.

Earlier during the day, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), joined the international community in criticizing the massacre by the Tatmawdaw, or the Myanmar army.

“All forms of violence must end immediately, particularly the use of force against civilians,” said the bloc, to which Myanmar and nine other nations in the region belong, in a statement, also reiterating its commitment to helping Myanmar find a “workable and durable” solution to the conflict.

On Wednesday, the international community, including the US, the European Union and the UN, condemned the attack on Sagaing.

The NUG government urged the international community on Twitter on Thursday to take punitive measures against the junta and called for the involvement of the International Criminal Court.

The UN denounced in March that more than 3,000 civilians had been killed, 1.3 million had had to leave their homes and 16,000 had become political prisoners, including the de facto leader of the ousted government, Aung San Suu Kyi, since the coup.

The overthrow of the civilian government brought an end to a decade of democratic transition in the country, plunging it into a spiral of violence and semi-anarchy. EFE


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