A deadly army raid kills at least eight children in Burma

The Burmese army has so far failed to regain control of the very strategic and symbolic sagaing region, in the center of the country.


Forty-five minutes under rocket shots: this is what the 200 students and teachers of a primary school in the Burmese village of Let Yet Kone, in the Sagaing region, suffered, 75 kilometers at the 75 km North of the city of Monywa, in the center of the country, Friday September 16 in the afternoon. At least six children died, while two adolescents were killed elsewhere in the village, according to the government of national unity (NUG), the underground administration which directs the resistance against the military junta in power since the coup d’état February 1, 2021.

The Nug published the names of the victims on September 19. At least five other civilians lost their life in the attack, during which two Russian helicopters in mid-35 Burmese army bombed the school on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery, and filed with commandos that Then ratified the village and led about twenty students and teachers. Unicef ​​deplored, on September 20, the death of eleven children, without giving details or specifying that the Burmese army was at the origin of carnage.

The town of Tabayin, where the village of Let Yet Kone is located, is under the control of the Burmese resistance and its popular defense forces (PDF), most of the members of the local population, who took the Weapons and have subtracted a whole part of the sagaing region to the administration of the junta, more and more confined in major cities. 2> “Control operation”

The television channel Myawaddy TV, an army propaganda body, described the raid as an “control operation” following information indicating that members of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) – The Kachin ethnic guerrillas In the north east of the country – and the PDFs “were preparing to pass on weapons”. The population of the village is also accused of having formed a “hiding place for supporters of the NLD” – the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, the former leader Burmese, arrested during the coup. “Civilians were killed when the KIA and the PDF used them as human shields,” adds the chain.

A few tens of kilometers to the north, another commune, Taze, underwent a series of raids from the Burmese army, between September 15 and 17. They would have left ten dead-four resistance fighters, the bodies of which were burned, and six civilians.

Frequent and unpredictable, these military operations charge civilians a heavy price, but have failed, at this stage, to restore army control over this strategic area. The sagaing region makes it possible to connect the territories controlled by the ethnic armies of the North East (in particular those of the Kachin and Shan states), and from the West-that is to say those of the Chin and the ‘Arakan. The sagaing region is also the symbol of the “Bamar” insurgency, that is to say the main ethnicity of Burma (68 % of the population): the Burmese army, before the 2021 coup , mainly made war on the autonomist ethnic fighters installed in the country’s peripheral crown.

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/Media reports.