11 schoolchildren died in an air strike and firing on a Myanmar village, said Unicef. The country’s junta claimed the attack was targeted at rebels hiding in the area.
At least 11 pupils were killed in an airstrike and gunfire on a village in Myanmar, which the country’s junta claimed was directed at rebels who were allegedly hiding there.
Myanmar has been in chaos since the military overthrew the government in a coup in February of last year. Around 2,300 civilians are said to have died in a crackdown on dissent.
Some of the worst violence has happened in the Sagaing district in the northwest of the country. During fights between anti-coup activists and the military, whole towns have been set on fire.
The UN agency for children was very upset about what happened on Friday in Depeyin Township, Sagaing.
Unicef said in a statement on Monday, “At least 11 children died on September 16 when an air strike and random fire in civilian neighbourhoods killed at least 11 children.”
It stated that schools must be secure and unassailable.
Unicef called for their safe release right away and said that “at least 15 kids from the same school are still missing.”
Using video footage from a neighbourhood community organisation, we can see blood on the floor of a classroom; damage to the roof; and a mother sobbing over the body of her slain son.
The Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic rebel group, and a local anti-coup militia were said to be moving weapons nearby, so the junta sent troops in helicopters to the village.
The military said it took explosives and mines out of the village and accused the rebels of using people as human shields.
Hassan Noor, the regional director for Save the Children in Asia, sent condolences to the families and argued that schools should be closed to keep kids safe.
How many more instances like this must occur before something is done? Noor urged prompt action from the UN Security Council and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
The leaders of Asean will gather in Phnom Penh in November to examine the meagre progress made on a peace plan, which has so far been the subject of futile diplomatic efforts to address the problem in Myanmar.