Dozens killed and injured in military attack on Myanmar refugee camp

7 months ago 130

The camp near the Chinese border houses thousands of people displaced by decades of conflict.

Published On 10 Oct 2023

Dozens of people, including children, have been killed and injured in a military raid on a camp for internally displaced people in northern Myanmar near the border with China.

Local media reported that the camp, near the town of Laiza in Kachin state, was hit late on Monday night.

The camp is a few kilometres from the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army, which is involved in a decades-long conflict with the Myanmar military.

At least 32 people were killed, including 13 children, Khit Thit news agency reported. The Kachin News Group said more than 30 people had been killed in the attack. A three-month-old baby was among the dead, according to the Myitkyina News Journal.

Photos on social media showed rescuers retrieving bodies in the darkness and piles of bamboo and other debris.

Writing on X, previously known as Twitter, Aung Myo Min, the human rights minister of the National Unity Government (NUG), condemned the attack as a “war crime”. He said some 56 people had been injured. The NUG was established by democratically-elected politicians removed from office in the coup.

The KIA’s Colonel Naw Bu said the armed group was investigating what kind of strike had hit the camp.

“We did not hear any aircraft,” he told the AFP news agency, saying they were looking into whether the military had used a drone in the attack.

Myanmar was plunged into crisis in February 2021 after the military seized power in a coup triggering a widespread rebellion against its rule. Violence has engulfed vast swathes of the country of 53 million people with the military accused of the indiscriminate use of air raids, artillery shelling and arson forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes.

In October last year, military air raids on a KIA-organised festival in Kachin killed at least 60 people.

Kachin officers and soldiers, musicians, jade-mining business owners and other civilians were among the dead.

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