Air strikes by Myanmar’s military killed as many as 80 people, including singers and musicians, attending an anniversary celebration of the Kachin ethnic minority’s main political organisation, members of the group and a rescue worker said Monday (local time).카지노사이트
The reported attack comes three days before Southeast Asian foreign ministers are to hold a special meeting in Indonesia to discuss widening violence in Myanmar.
The number of casualties at Sunday night’s (local time) celebration by the Kachin Independence Organization in the northern state of Kachin appeared to be the most in a single air attack since the military seized power in February last year from the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi. Initial reports put the death toll at around 60, but later tallies raised it to about 80.
It was impossible to independently confirm details of the incident, though media sympathetic to the Kachin posted videos showing what was said to be the attack’s aftermath, with splintered and flattened wooden structures.
The military government’s information office confirmed in a statement late Monday that there was an attack on what it described as the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army’s 9th Brigade, calling it a “necessary operation” in response to “terrorist” acts carried out by the Kachin group.
It called reports of a high death toll “rumours”, and denied the military had bombed a concert and that singers and audience members were among the dead.
The United Nations’ office in Myanmar said in a statement that it was “deeply concerned and saddened” by reports of the air strikes.
“What would appear to be excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and those responsible must be held to account,” it said.바카라사이트
Envoys representing Western embassies in Myanmar, including the US, issued a joint statement saying the attack underscores the military regime’s “disregard for its obligation to protect civilians and respect the principles and rules of international humanitarian law“.
Myanmar has been wracked for decades by rebellions by ethnic minorities seeking autonomy, but anti-government resistance increased markedly nationwide with the formation of an armed pro-democracy movement opposing last year’s military takeover.
The Kachin are one of the stronger ethnic rebel groups and are capable of manufacturing some of their own armaments. They also have a loose alliance with the armed militias of the pro-democracy forces that were formed in central Myanmar last year to fight army rule.
Sunday’s celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the Kachin Independence Organization, which included a concert, was held at a base also used for military training by the Kachin Independence Army, the KIO’s armed wing. It is located near Aung Bar Lay village in Hpakant township, a remote mountainous area 950km north of Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon.
Hpakant is the centre of the world’s biggest and most lucrative jade mining industry, from which both the government and the rebels derive revenue.
Cambodia, the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, said on Sunday that the group’s foreign ministers will hold a special meeting in Indonesia this week to consider the peace process for Myanmar. Myanmar’s generals have all but shunned the group’s previous efforts.
“As officials and leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations prepare to host high-level meetings in the coming weeks, this attack highlights the need to overhaul the approach to the crisis in Myanmar,” Amnesty International said.