Southeast Asian nations have strongly condemned the Myanmar military’s bombing of a village in the central Sagaing region that killed dozens of people, including children.
The statement from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Thursday came a day after the Myanmar military confirmed the air attack on a ceremony held by the National Unity Government (NUG), a parallel administration, for a unit of its People’s Defence Force (PDF) militia.
The United Nations, the United States and others have already condemned the attack by the generals who seized power from the elected government in a coup in February 2021.
“ASEAN strongly condemns the reported recent air strikes carried out by the Myanmar Armed Forces in Pa Zi Gyi village,” the regional bloc said.
“All forms of violence must end immediately, particularly the use of force against civilians,” it said.
“This would be the only way to create a conducive environment for an inclusive national dialogue to find a sustainable peaceful solution in Myanmar.”
Media reports said as many as 100 people were killed when fighter jets dropped bombs on the community hall on Tuesday morning. Witnesses said helicopter gunships followed, shooting at survivors and hindering rescue efforts.
One villager who spoke to AFP news agency estimated about 80 bodies had been cremated on Wednesday, with rescuers halting efforts to recover roughly 40 more bodies “because we were afraid of more air strikes”.
If confirmed, the toll would make the attack the deadliest since the military under Senior General Min Aung Hlaing removed the government of Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Many of the legislators the generals overthrew are part of the NUG. (AlJazeera)