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Myanmar air strikes kill 10 civilians: Local reports

BANGKOK (AFP) – A Myanmar military airstrike on a village killed 10 civilians, locals and media reports said yesterday.

Fighting has ravaged swathes of Myanmar since a coup in 2021, with the junta battling ethnic rebels and dozens of new “People’s Defence Forces” across the country.

Rights groups accuse the military of extrajudicial killings, razing villages and using air strikes as collective punishment of its opponents.

A military jet dropped three bombs on Nyaung Kone village in the northern Sagaing region on Tuesday afternoon, according to Ko Zaw Tun, an anti-coup fighter from the village. Ten people were killed and eight wounded, he said.

“There was no fighting, but they came to bomb the village,” he told AFP, adding 11 houses had been destroyed in the attack.

The remains of houses are seen in a village outside the town of Pasuang in Myanmar’s eastern state of Kayah. PHOTO: AP

A resident of Nyaung Kone also told AFP that 10 people had been killed in the strike. He and other locals had cremated the dead later that evening, he said, asking not to use his name due to fear of reprisal.

“We did not know what their (the military’s) next plan is. So, we just held funerals for them as soon as we could,” he said.

BBC Burmese and other local media also reported the air strikes, with some outlets saying nine people had been killed.

Images published by local media showed people working to douse smouldering debris and ash, and a large building in ruins. AFP digital verification reporters confirmed the images had not appeared online before Tuesday.

More than two years after launching its coup, the military is struggling to crush resistance to its rule. Battling fierce opposition on the ground, experts said it is resorting to artillery strikes and air power.

The military carried out over 300 air strikes in the last year, the United Nations said in March.

Sagaing has emerged as a hotspot of anti-junta resistance. In April, the military bombed a gathering in Sagaing that media and locals said killed about 170 people, sparking renewed global condemnation of the isolated junta.