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Military airstrikes in Myanmar kill at least 100 people

At least 30 of those killed were children. The people were gathered to celebrate the opening of an administration building and most were inside a building when the airstrikes hit

SHARE Military airstrikes in Myanmar kill at least 100 people
Aftermath of an airstrike in Pazigyi village in Sagaing Region’s Kanbalu Township, Myanmar.

This photo provided by the Kyunhla Activists Group shows aftermath of an airstrike in Pazigyi village in Sagaing Region’s Kanbalu Township, Myanmar, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. Witnesses and independent media reports said dozens of villagers in central Myanmar have been killed in an air attack carried out Tuesday by the Southeast Asian country’s military government.

Kyunhla Activists Group via Associated Press

Airstrikes in Myanmar on Tuesday have killed at least 100 people — The New York Times reported at least 30 of those killed were children.

According to The Associated Press, “The military is increasingly using airstrikes to counter a widespread armed struggle against its rule.” Tensions escalated in February 2021, when the military took over “the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi.”

Since then, more than 3,000 civilians have likely been killed by military forces.

Why did Myanmar’s military fire airstrikes on Pazigyi village?

One witness told AP “that a fighter jet dropped bombs directly onto a crowd of people who were gathering at 8 a.m. for the opening of a local office of the country’s opposition movement.”

The attack was on the Pazigyi village in the southern Sagaing region. Around 300 people were gathered there “to celebrate the opening of a local administration office,” according to CNN.

“This is a war crime,” Byar Kyi, a soldier with a local resistance unit who was helping to recover bodies at the site, told the Times. “The place they attacked was not a military target.”

Pro-democracy forces have allied with armed ethnic groups in an effort to expel the military from power, but “as the rebel forces have become increasingly better armed, the military has doubled down on its strategy of carrying out deadly air raids and attacking civilians,” the Times reported.

What does Myanmar’s military say about Pazigyi village attacks?

The military took responsibility for the attack. “We had launched the attack on them. We were informed that PDF (People’s Defense Force) were killed at that event under the attack. They are opposing our government,” Major General Zaw Min Tun said on the military’s TV channel, per CNN.

The United Nations condemned the attack.

“Despite clear legal obligations for the military to protect civilians in the conduct of hostilities, there has been blatant disregard for the related rules of international law,” Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said, per BBC.