An airstrike by the Myanmar military has claimed the lives of at least 60 people and injured 200 while they were attending a concert.
The incident happened late on Sunday in the northern state of Kachin and casualties include civilians, prominent local singers, and officers of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), a rebel faction of the minority ethnic group of Kachin, who have been in conflict with the Military government.
The death toll from this airstrike is the highest from a single attack since the Junta overthrew the country’s democratic government and seized power in 2021. The information office of the government called it a “necessary operation” in response to “terrorist” acts carried out by the Kachin group.
Videos from residents in the region have shed light to the carnage caused by these attacks with splintered and flattened wooden structures strewn all over, damaged motorcycles, plastic chairs and other debris scattered on the ground. This is one of the many opposition movements that the junta has sought to quash with lethal force.
Horrific reports of 60 killed & 200 injured by Burmese military airstrikes on a music festival in Kachin State last night. We are trying to confirm details.
We renew our call for aviation fuel sanctions to try to help stop these attacks.
Footage from WeChat. pic.twitter.com/l8BoX1kAcb
— Burma Campaign UK (@burmacampaignuk) October 24, 2022
A member of the Kachin Artists Association informed that the military aircraft dropped four bombs at 8 pm during their celebration which had between 300 and 500 people in attendance.
People of the Kachin community have been fighting for greater autonomy since the past six decades and on Sunday they were celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the inception of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO). The event was held at a military training base of its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).
This attack came just three days before a special meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers where they were to discuss the increasing atrocities in the country.