Myanmar army kills at least 11 children in indiscriminate firing at a school. Junta forces killed the children by firing from a helicopter gunship at a school in the country’s northern Sagaing region. The ages of the victims ranged from 6 to 14 years. Another 15 children are still missing in the attack, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said.
According to the BBC, the casualties occurred last Friday when army helicopters and infantry opened fire on the temple-run school in Let Yett village in Sagaing.
Myanmar’s junta government claimed that the rebels were hiding in the school and they raided the school.
UNICEF said the children were killed by ‘indiscriminate firing’ from the sky. The agency called for the immediate release of the 15 missing children.
In a statement on behalf of UNICEF, it is said on Monday, “However, many details are yet to be verified. UNICEF sympathizes with the parents and families who have lost their children.’
“Schools must be safe,” the statement stressed. Children should never be targeted for any reason.’
BBC Burmese reported that at least six children were killed in the attack, before the full report of the school massacre. Among the dead children are two boys aged 7 and 14 and three girls aged 7, 9 and 11.
Another 13-year-old boy was fishing with his father near the school at the time of the attack. He was shot dead there. Locals also said that the army took away the bodies of most of the children. Six more villagers were killed in Friday’s attack. BBC reports that five of them are men and one is a woman.
On February 1 last year, the military overthrew the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi and seized power again. Already, more than 1500 ordinary people have been killed in anti-junta protests. Since then, the army has been fighting with several rebel groups in different parts of the country. A large part of Myanmar is now under the control of the People’s Defense Force (PDF), a guerrilla group. The guerrillas have also received support from the local population, which has hampered the junta’s forces. Therefore, the Myanmar army is regularly attacking the resistance areas from the air, said Jonathan Head, BBC’s Southeast Asia correspondent.