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Dhaka Tribune

Children among 8 dead in Myanmar military air strike

The air strike took place on Thursday, with four bombs dropped on a Khuafo, a village of about 60 households in Chin State

Update : 31 Mar 2023, 09:58 PM

At least eight civilians including two children were killed in an air strike on a village in northwest Myanmar, reported Reuters citing a human rights group, ethnic minority rebels and local media.

However, Radio Free Asia put the number of fatalities at 10 as it said that 20 others were injured in the attack -- the latest violence as the ruling military battles to consolidate power. 

News outlets Myanmar Now, the Irrawaddy and BBC Burmese also reported 10 deaths from the incident, with women and children among those.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the 2021 coup, with attacks by ethnic minority armies and resistance fighters challenging the rule of the military, which has responded with air strikes and heavy weapons, including in civilian areas.

The air strike took place on Thursday, with four bombs dropped on a Khuafo, a village of about 60 households in Chin State, bordering India, according to the Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO) and the Chin National Front.

Both groups said two children, ages 3 and 9, were among the dead. There was no immediate comment from the junta.

Salai Mang Hre Lian of the CHRO said there were no resistance fighters based in the village.

"Therefore we can say it is deliberate attack targeted toward civilians," he said.

Pictures shared by the CHRO showed damaged houses and the bodies of two children in coffins made from planks of wood.

A spokesperson for the Chin National Front (CNF) told Reuters 10 people were killed and 20 were wounded, adding there had been no fighting in the area in the past 20 days.

The military has denied international allegations it has committed atrocities against civilians and says it is fighting "terrorists" determined to destabilize the country.

At least 1.2 million people have been displaced by violence, the UN says.

A report issued by the UN human rights agency earlier this month said that junta airstrikes in Myanmar had more than doubled from 125 in 2021 to 301 in 2022.

The report followed a joint statement on March 1 by Amnesty International, Global Witness, and Burma Campaign urging governments to sanction companies that sell jet fuel to the junta to limit the country's air force.

Coup leader Min Aung Hlaing on Monday vowed before a huge military parade to destroy the armed resistance groups and urged foreign countries to support his efforts to restore democracy, including the holding of an election.

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