Myanmar military bombs village, killing seven: sources

Military planes drop bombs on a neighbourhood donation ceremony in Moe Tarr Lay village of Katha township

Reuters
Published : 19 Jan 2023, 12:35 PM
Updated : 19 Jan 2023, 12:35 PM

At least seven civilians were killed when Myanmar's armed forces launched air strikes at a village in the country's central Sagaing region, according to a witness and BBC Burmese.

The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the army seized power nearly two years ago, ending a decade of tentative steps towards democracy, triggering global outrage and prompting domestic opponents to set up guerrilla forces.

According to a witness account and reports in BBC Burmese, which Reuters could not independently verify, military planes dropped bombs on a neighbourhood donation ceremony in Moe Tarr Lay village of Katha township late on Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the junta could not immediately be reached for comment.

Seven villagers were killed, with some bodies burned beyond recognition, while at least five others were injured, according to the witness and media.

Zin, a 44-year-old resident who witnessed the bombings, said dozens of houses were destroyed and communication and power lines severed in some districts.

"Some bodies that got burned terribly were buried last night and others are going to be buried today," Zin, who declined to give his full name for security reasons, told Reuters by phone.

Villagers from Moe Tarr Lay had fled in fear of further air strikes, he said.

Myanmar has been gripped by fighting since the army overthrew an elected government in February 2021. Resistance movements, some armed, have emerged across the country, which the military has countered with lethal force.

The UN Security Council has demanded an end to violence and urged the Myanmar military to release all political prisoners including ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher