Dozens were killed in a military airstrike that struck a celebration event in Myanmar’s mountainous Kachin state on Sunday, according to local news outlets and international organizations.
According to Reuters, KIA spokesman Naw Bu said the victim was attending events including a concert held to mark the 62nd anniversary of the Kachin Independence Organization, the political arm of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA). was participating.
Reuters and local news agency Irrawaddy reported that at least 50 people were killed.
CNN cannot independently confirm the reported death toll and has reached out to the military for comment.
The Kachin Alliance, a Kachin community organization based in Washington, DC, said a Kachin artist, a local elder and a KIO leader were killed.
“Families scrambled to get news about their loved ones due to prolonged internet outages in Pakant in the aftermath of the massacre,” the statement said. “We are also concerned to learn of reports that medical access to victims of the massacre has been cut off.”
Myanmar has been plagued by conflict since the military government seized power in a coup d’état last February. Rights groups and observers say liberties and rights in the country have deteriorated since then. State executions have been reinstated and the documented number of violent attacks on schools by the military has surged.
While numerous armed rebel groups have emerged, millions of other millions continue to resist the junta’s rule through strikes, boycotts, and other forms of civil disobedience.
Myanmar’s shadow government, the Government of National Unity (a group of displaced lawmakers, coup opponents and representatives of ethnic minority groups), condemned the attack in a statement on Monday, saying the military had “deliberately committed another genocide.” committed,” he said.
The attack “clearly violates international law as a provision of the Geneva Conventions,” it said in a statement, urging the international community and the United Nations to “take effective action urgently.”
NUG operates covertly or through members abroad to seek recognition as the legitimate government of Myanmar.
Sunday’s attacks drew international condemnation, with the United Nations saying it was concerned about reports that more than 100 civilians had been affected.
“As the United Nations continues to confirm details of this attack, we extend our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those killed or injured. We are calling,” he said in a statement Monday.
It added that the military’s “excessive and disproportionate” use of force against unarmed civilians was “unacceptable” and called for those responsible to be held accountable.
Ambassadors from Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, the UK and the US also issued a joint statement on Monday condemning the strike.
“This attack underscores the junta’s responsibility for the crisis and instability in Myanmar and the region and its disregard for its obligation to protect civilians and respect the principles and rules of international humanitarian law.” said the joint statement.
The nonprofit Amnesty International said in a statement that military actions, including the execution of pro-democracy activists, the imprisonment of journalists and the targeting of civilians, would continue “in the face of an ineffective international response”. Said it was allowed.
“As Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) officials and leaders prepare to host high-level meetings in the coming weeks, the attack highlights the need to overhaul Myanmar’s approach to the crisis. “There is,” the statement said, urging ASEAN leaders to take action when they meet at their annual summit in November.