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At least 60 people are killed by military junta airstrikes on Myanmar music festival

Air strikes by Myanmar’s military junta on a music festival killed dozens of people on Sunday, members of an ethnic minority group and rescue employees mentioned.

Singers and musicians had been amongst these killed within the strikes apparently concentrating on an anniversary celebration of the Kachin ethnic group’s predominant political organisation.

The assault, reported to have been carried out by two Myanmar military jets, comes three days earlier than Southeast Asian international ministers are to carry a particular meeting in Indonesia to debate widening violence in Myanmar.

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Air strikes by Myanmar's military junta on a music festival killed dozens of people on Sunday, members of an ethnic minority group and rescue workers said. Pictured: Footage purportedly showing the aftermath of the air strikes, posted on social media platforms

Air strikes by Myanmar’s military junta on a music festival killed dozens of people on Sunday, members of an ethnic minority group and rescue employees mentioned. Pictured: Footage purportedly displaying the aftermath of the air strikes, posted on social media platforms

The variety of casualties at Sunday evening’s celebration by the Kachin Independence Organization within the northern state of Kachin gave the impression to be essentially the most in a single air assault for the reason that military junta seized energy in February final year.

The military coup ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi, who earlier this month was sentenced to an additional three years in jail and will face a complete of 26 years behind bars.

It was unattainable to independently verify particulars of the incident, although media sympathetic to the Kachin posted movies displaying what was mentioned to be the assault’s aftermath, with splintered and flattened picket buildings. 

Photos from the instant aftermath of the assault purported to indicate our bodies strewn throughout the ground. Later, pictures confirmed corpses with horrific accidents laid out on mats.

While most studies mentioned as many as 60 people had been killed within the strikes, some native media sources mentioned the quantity was even increased, reporting that there have been at least 100 casualties within the assault.

There was no instant remark from the military or authorities media.

‘Around 8:40 pm (1440 GMT) Sunday, two Myanmar military jets attacked’ a ceremony the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was holding, Colonel Naw Bu instructed AFP information company on Monday. ‘Around 50 people had been killed together with KIA members and civilians,’ he mentioned, including that round 70 had been wounded.

The United Nations’ office in Myanmar mentioned in a press release that it was ‘deeply involved and saddened’ by studies of the air strikes.

‘What would look like extreme and disproportionate use of pressure by safety forces towards unarmed civilians is unacceptable and people accountable have to be held to account,’ it mentioned.

‘Initial studies counsel that over 100 civilians could have been affected by the bombing,’ it added, saying: ‘Numerous fatalities have additionally been reported.’

Myanmar has been wracked for many years by rebellions by ethnic minorities looking for autonomy, however anti-government resistance elevated nationwide with the formation of an armed pro-democracy motion opposing final year’s military takeover.

The KIA has clashed commonly with the military for many years, with heavy preventing erupting within the wake of final year’s coup. 

The Kachin are one of many stronger ethnic insurgent teams and are able to manufacturing a few of their very own armaments. 

They even have a unfastened alliance with the armed militias of the pro-democracy forces that had been shaped in central Myanmar final year to combat military rule.

Sunday’s celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the Kachin Independence Organization, which included a live performance, was held at a base additionally used for military coaching by the Kachin Independence Army, the KIO’s armed wing. 

It is situated close to Aung Bar Lay village in Hpakant township, a distant mountainous space 600 miles north of Myanmar’s greatest metropolis, Yangon.

Hpakant is the middle of the world’s greatest and most profitable jade mining business, from which each the federal government and the rebels derive income.

More than 60 people had been killed and about 100 had been injured in Sunday’s assault on the primary day of a three-day celebration of the KIO’s founding, a spokesperson for the Kachin Artists Association instructed The Associated Press by telephone.

He mentioned military plane dropped 4 bombs on the celebration at about 8 p.m., in keeping with members of his group who had been there. 

Between 300 and 500 people had been in attendance and a Kachin singer and keyboard participant had been among the many useless, mentioned the spokesperson, who requested to not be recognized as a result of he feared punishment by the authorities. One report shared on Twitter referred to among the victims as ‘distinguished singers and artists’.  

The number of casualties at Sunday night's celebration by the Kachin Independence Organization in the northern state of Kachin appeared to be the most in a single air attack since the military junta seized power in February last year. Pictured: Myanmar's junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected government in a coup on February 1

The variety of casualties at Sunday evening’s celebration by the Kachin Independence Organization within the northern state of Kachin gave the impression to be essentially the most in a single air assault for the reason that military junta seized energy in February final year. Pictured: Myanmar’s junta chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who ousted the elected authorities in a coup on February 1

Fighter jets fly at low altitude over Mandalay, Myanmar March 4, 2021 (file photo)

Fighter jets fly at low altitude over Mandalay, Myanmar March 4, 2021 (file picture)

Those killed additionally included Kachin officers and troopers, musicians and jade mining business house owners and different civilians, he mentioned. 

They additionally included at least 10 Kachin military and business VIPs sitting in entrance of the stage, and cooks working backstage, he added.

The Kachin News Group, a media outlet sympathetic to the KIO, reported the identical variety of casualties and mentioned authorities safety forces blocked the wounded from being handled at hospitals in close by cities.

Col. Naw Bu, a spokesperson for the Kachin Independence Army, mentioned by telephone that KIA troopers, musicians, businesspeople and villagers had been among the many useless, however he couldn’t verify a casualty quantity as a consequence of communications issues. 

He mentioned the deaths had been a loss for all Kachin people, and its group would fly the Kachin flag at half-staff.

An emergency providers rescue employee who was in Hpakant and likewise requested for anonymity mentioned he noticed three military plane making bombing runs over the celebration floor, just some miles away. 

He mentioned he was barred by the KIO from coming into the realm however heard that greater than 60 people had been killed, together with a KIA brigade commander.

The military coup ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured)

The military coup ousted the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi (pictured)

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-governmental group that tracks killings and arrests, mentioned Friday that 2,377 civilians have died in crackdowns by the safety forces for the reason that military took energy. Its determine, nevertheless, doesn’t all the time embrace people killed in military actions within the countryside.

The group additionally says over 15,000 have been arrested. 

‘We worry this assault is a part of a sample of illegal aerial assaults by the military which has killed and injured civilians in areas managed by armed teams,’ Amnesty International’s deputy regional director, Hana Young, mentioned in a press release.

‘The military has proven ruthless disregard for civilian lives in its escalating marketing campaign towards opponents. It is tough to consider the military didn’t know of a major civilian presence on the website of this assault. 

‘The military should instantly grant entry to medics and humanitarian help to these affected by these air strikes and different civilians in want,’ Young mentioned.

Cambodia, the present chair of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, mentioned Sunday that the group’s international ministers will maintain a particular meeting in Indonesia this week to contemplate the peace course of for Myanmar.

Myanmar’s generals have all however shunned the group’s earlier efforts.

‘As officers and leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations put together to host high-level conferences within the coming weeks, this assault highlights the necessity to overhaul the strategy to the disaster in Myanmar,’ Amnesty International mentioned. 

‘ASEAN has to step up and formulate a extra strong plan of action in order that military leaders finish this escalating repression.’

In September, at least 11 schoolchildren died in a military air strike and firing on a Myanmar village in northern Sagaing area.

The junta mentioned it had despatched troops in helicopters to Let Yet Kone after receiving a tip-off that fighters from the KIA and a neighborhood anti-coup militia had been shifting weapons.

Numerous Myanmar’s myriad ethnic insurgent teams have come out in assist of the anti-coup motion, providing shelter and even coaching to activists.

Last May, the KIA mentioned it downed a military helicopter gunship throughout fierce clashes close to the city of Momauk within the nation’s far north. 

The Kachin Peoples: The confederation of ethnic teams within the Kachin Hills of Myanmar

The Kachin peoples, or the Kachin Wunpong, is a confederation consisting of a number of ethnic teams who reside in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state, and the neighbouring areas – together with China and India.

About a million Kachin people dwell within the area of the identical identify, with their numbers being made up of six ethnicities: Rawang, the Lisu, the Jingpo, the Zaiwa, the Lashi/Lachik and the Lawngwaw/Maru.

Due to the distant nature of Kachin state, the Kachin Peoples had been largely untouched by Britain’s rile of Bruma (now Myanmar) within the 1800s, however in late 1800s and early 1900s, the British began utilizing Kachin within the military.

When Japan invaded Burma in 1942, Britain and America recruited the Kachin People to combat towards the Japanese forces and their Burmese allies, promising the Kachin autonomy after the conflict.

At the tip of World War II and British rule within the nation, the Kachin Peoples agreed to hitch the Union of Burma on the 1947 Panglong Conference, which led to them being granted autonomy to their border.

However, with the assassination of General Aung San – father of Aung San Suu Kyi – assist for this settlement dwindled within the nation.

On October 25, 1960, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) was based, and a year later the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was created.

This grew from 100s of members within the 60s to a reported 10,000-strong military in the present day, with one other 10,000 in reserve.

After 33 years of ighting between the Kachin and the Tatmadaw (the armed forces of Myanmar) a ceasefire was known as in 1994. This was damaged after 17 years by the military in June, 2011. The battle displaced an estimated 100,000 Kachin people.

There have been a number of human rights violation towards the Kachin Peopls, particularly perpetrated by the military.

Violations embrace rape and sexual assault, extrajudicial killings, compelled labour, bodily abuse, torture and plenty of different types of abuse, discrimination and violence. 

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