The ruins of a school building damaged by an airstrike in Dapain town in Myanmar’s northwestern Sagaing region. Photo: AFP
At least 11 children and students have been killed in a military junta airstrike and shelling of a village school in Myanmar. The attack targeted the school in a village in Sagaing region in the northwest of the country. This information is known from the sources of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF claimed that the attack took place last Friday at a school in the suburb of Depein, Sagaing region.
On Tuesday, UNICEF said in a statement that at least 15 children from that school are still missing. UNICEF said schools must be kept safe and never targeted, demanding that the missing students be traced.
The villagers, who did not reveal their identity, said that after the incident, some students and teachers of the school were detained by the army.
Hasan Noor, Asia Regional Director of international non-governmental organization Save the Children, expressed his condolences to the children and their families. He said educational institutions should be kept out of attack and protected.
According to media reports, a video footage collected from local people shows blood stains on the floor of the school classroom. The roof of the building collapsed. At this time, a mother is seen carrying the dead body of her child.
After the incident, Myanmar’s junta government claimed that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and an anti-military group were carrying out joint armed operations in a village in the region called ‘Let Yet Kone’. The junta sent helicopters to suppress them. During this time two armed groups used local civilians as human shields. At the end of the operation, mines and explosives were seized.
“The KIA took the villagers into the building and they opened fire on the military,” said Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the junta authorities, yesterday. ‘
The demands made by the junta government of Myanmar after the incident did not match the demands of the local people there.
A villager, who did not reveal his identity, said that the junta forces directly attacked the school. They (the junta) said that someone attacked them and then the military repelled. But this is not true.
The resident also claimed that some bodies were taken away by the military after the incident. They have detained some teachers along with children.
Urging the United Nations Security Council and ASEAN to take effective measures to control the situation, Save the Children’s official Hasan Noor said, how many such incidents need to happen before action is taken?
The junta took power in February last year after ousting Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government. Since then, at least 2,300 people have lost their lives in a series of clashes with pro-democracy forces. Currently, the junta administration is fighting with the pro-democracy armed groups of ethnic groups active in different regions of the country. Currently, the junta authorities are advancing the trial process of pro-democracy prisoners.