Updated January 8th, 2024 at 14:52 IST

JUNTA's airstrikes claim 17 lives, including 9 children, in Sagaing village south of India border

17 civilians perished in Myanmar airstrikes, despite eyewitness and rights groups' confirmation, the military denied involvement

Reported by: Digital Desk
Junta airstrikes in Saigang claims 17 lives, Military denies responsibility | Image:X
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Naypyidaw: Myanmar's military conducted airstrikes on a village in the northwest region, resulting in the deaths of at least 17 civilians, including nine children, and injuring around 20 individuals, as per reports on Sunday , January 7. The aerial assaults targeted Kanan village in Khampat town, Sagaing region, near the Indian border. Despite denial from the military government, local residents and human rights groups confirmed the attacks.

The unrest in Myanmar began after the army ousted the elected government in February 2021. Following the suppression of peaceful protests, opposition to military rule intensified, leading to armed resistance across various parts of the country.

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Kawlin market after alleged Junta artillery strike. | Image: X

Reports from independent online media highlighted the airstrikes. However, the military government refuted responsibility, dismissing the information as false news being propagated by a news service supporting the anti-military resistance.

Military's airstrikes in Sagaing region: Understanding Junta's actions

The military government has escalated airstrikes against two primary factions: the armed pro-democracy People's Defense Force and ethnic minority guerrilla groups seeking increased autonomy. These groups occasionally collaborate in operations against the military.

Myanamar Air Force jets. | Image: X

The military often accuses pro-democracy forces of carrying out violent campaigns in response to allegations of abuses. Nonetheless, credible evidence compiled by the United Nations and non-governmental organisations points to substantial human rights violations by the Junta, including village burnings and displacements affecting nearly 2 million people, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

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Sagaing region, a stronghold of armed resistance, has witnessed recent takeovers of a district capital and two small towns by a coalition of resistance forces and the Kachin Independence Army, a robust ethnic rebel group.

Junta Jets dropped 3 bombs near village school: Reports 

Witnesses reported that a jet fighter dropped three bombs on Kanan village, causing the death of 17 civilians near the village school. The targeted area mainly comprises residents from the Chin ethnic minority, primarily Christians in a largely Buddhist Myanmar. The ruling military aligns with a nationalistic strain of Buddhism, displaying hostility toward non-Burman and non-Buddhist populations, primarily located in border areas witnessing the ongoing conflict.

Local residents suggested that the attack might have been aimed at a ceremony marking the completion of combat training for new resistance force members at a school in the village. They also speculated about the possibility of a military informer providing a tip-off leading to the bombing.The tragic incident at Kanan village adds to the mounting toll of civilian casualties in Myanmar's ongoing conflict. 

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Published January 8th, 2024 at 07:08 IST