At least 11 children died in an airstrike that destroyed a school in a village in northern Burma, UNICEF said on Tuesday, the army accusing local militias of using civilians as human shields. “On September 16, at least 11 children died as a result of an airstrike and indiscriminate shooting in civilian areas, including a school in Depeyin, Sagaing region”announced Unicef Burma.
“At least 15 children from the same school have disappeared. Unicef calls for their immediate and safe release.”continued the UN agency.
A video obtained from a local association shows bloodstains on the floor of the school and the corpse of a child wrapped in a sheet near which his mother meditates. The Burmese junta confirmed on Tuesday “several dead and injured villagers” during an operation that involved several of its helicopters on Friday in the area concerned.
War crimes charge
The Tatmadaw (name of Burma’s armed forces) accused local militias, which it is fighting, of using civilians as human shields and committing war crimes. During this operation, it also seized 23 mines and eight homemade bombs.
The international community “must condemn this attack and do everything in its power to hold those responsible for these crimes to account”reacted Hassan Noor, director for Asia of the NGO Save the Children. “We ask the Asean [Association des nations d’Asie du Sud-Est] to stand up and act. How many incidents like this have to happen before something gets done? »he continued.
Since the coup of 1er February 2021 which overthrew civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the ruling army is waging a bloody crackdown on its opponents, with nearly 2,300 civilians killed and more than 15,000 arrested, according to a local non-governmental organization.