Myanmar military’s shelling destroys over 160 houses
Bangkok, Oct 30 (EFE).- The Myanmar military, accused of war crimes, has destroyed over 160 houses, two churches and the office of nonprofit Save the Children at a city in the western Chin state after it launched a bombing campaign, the local Chindwin news agency said on Saturday.
Myanmar troops had intensified their attacks against the town of Thantlang, inhabited by around 10,000 people, in a retaliatory campaign against the resistance put forth by the rebel groups Chin National Army and Chinland Defense Force after the Feb. 1 military coup.
“The extensive destruction of civilian property, carried out wantonly and not justified by any military necessity, represent war crimes and grave breaches of international humanitarian law,” Salai Za Uk Ling of the nonrprofit Chin Human Rights Organisation said in a statement.
The NGO said there were reports of Myanmar soldiers burning houses, while around 20 children of an orhpanage and their teachers had been trapped in the area.
Chin leader and a member of the pro-democracy movement, Lian Sakhong, told a news channel that the attack had worsened the humanitarian crisis in the province, one of the poorest in the country, and many people had fled to neighboring India.
Sakhong appealed the international community to provide aid to the locals through the Indian state of Mizoram instead of Myanmar.
The CNA and the CDF, a militia formed soon after the military coup, are part of pro-democracy forces fighting the military junta in several parts of the country over the past few months.
On Sep. 7, the self-designated National Unity Government – formed by leaders and activists close to ousted state counselor Aun San Suu Kyi – had declared a “defensive war” against the Myanmar military.
In the nine months after the coup, the junta has arrested over 9,000 people, out of which 7,000 remain under custody according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.
The AAPP said that at least 1,220 people have been killed in the repression unleased by the security forces.