Burma’s military junta alleges the bombing came in response to an attack by rebel groups hiding in the building
Burma, one year and seven months after the coup. The military dictatorship continues to perpetrate a bath of blood: At least 11 children died last Friday when the army launched an aerial attack that destroyed a school in a village in the northeast of the country. From UNICEF they report that there will be another 15 missing minors and another 17 injured.
“They shot at the school from the air for an hour. They didn’t stop for a minute. All we can do at that time was chant Buddhist mantras,” said the director of the center, located inside a Buddhist monastery, in statements to the agency Associated Press.
From the Tatmadawthe name by which the Burmese army is known, said they opened fire because the rebels – the Kachin Independence Army and a People’s Defense Force (PDF), local militias that stand up to the military – were using the building to attack his forces and used civilians as shields.
In a statement published after the attack, they acknowledged the death of civilians, but justified them by assuring that the soldiers were carrying out “a surprise inspection” and that they were attacked by fighters who had hidden inside the complex, based in the Sagaing region.
A version that is not believed from the National Unity Government (NUG), a government in exile formed by legislators who fled Burma after the coup on February 1, 2021. They accuse the soldiers of “selective attacks” against schools during school hours and call for the release of some twenty students and professors who have been arrested after the attack.
In Burma, there is no day without fighting between ethnic guerrillas and soldiers serving the regime led by General Min Aung Hlaing, turned into a pariah on the international stage, but inside his house he continues to rule with the force of a bloodthirsty dictator. Civilians continue to die at the hands of the coup military, with frequent executions of dissidents accused of being terrorists.
“At least 382 children have been killed or maimed; more than 1,400 children have been arbitrarily detained and 142 children have been tortured since the coup,” explained this summer Thomas Andrews, UN rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burma. “These children have been beaten, cut and stabbed; they have been burned with cigarettes; their nails and teeth have been pulled out; they have been forced to occupy stress positions; they have been subjected to mock executions; have been sexually assaulted.”
Andrews charged that these repeated attacks on civilians constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. “Physical and sexual abuse, child trafficking and child labor are on the rise. Girls are particularly vulnerable to forced marriage and sexual exploitation,” continued the rapporteur, who also exposed the difficulty in sending humanitarian aid to the country. “Five million children require urgent humanitarian assistance. Experts warn of an impending food crisis and the possibility of a dramatic increase in rates of child malnutrition and stunting.”
According to the Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners (AAPP), a local organization that collects information on the attacks of the military junta, in total there would be almost 2,300 civilians killed at the hands of the security forces, more than 15,000 arrested and almost a million displaced.
Meanwhile, the former state councilor and former de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, remains in prison. In early September, Suu Kyi was sentenced to three years in prison and hard labor for alleged electoral fraud. She was the umpteenth sentence against the 77-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner.
All the sentences that have fallen to him by now add up to more than 20 years in prison for the woman who managed to return her country to a system very similar to that of a democracy, but who tolerated the repression against the Rohingya minority by the same military that had her under house arrest for 15 years in the past and ended up overthrowing Rohingya. a government democratically elected at the polls.