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At least 60 people were killed in an airstrike on a concert in Myanmar

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The concert in Kachin State was to mark the anniversary of the founding of the Kachin Independence Movement (KIO), a powerful separatist group that has fought the central government for decades and supports the fight against the junta.

According to local news reports and eyewitnesses, the concert was attacked by three fighter planes. It added that among the dead were well-known singers Urali and Jallow Yau Lui.

A Kachin army colonel later told AFP that about 50 people were killed, including rebels and civilians. In addition, 70 were said to have been injured.

concerned United Nations

The Myanmar military council has not commented on the reports. But the United Nations office in Myanmar says it is deeply concerned about reports of air strikes.

– What appears to be an excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces against unarmed civilians appears unacceptable. The UN statement says that those behind it must be held accountable.

Myanmar has seen unrest since the military coup in February last year. The army launched a strict crackdown on protests, demonstrations and armed resistance. According to the Political Prisoners Support Group, 2,377 people have been killed and more than 15,900 arrested since the coup.

The figure does not always include those killed in military operations in the countryside.

Worst in terms of death toll

The attack on the concert was perhaps the worst in terms of casualties in a single attack since the military coup against the popularly elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 last year.

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Details of the attack cannot be confirmed from independent sources, but photos posted on social media by people supporting the rebels show broken wooden objects.

The attack took place on the first day of a three-day celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the Kuwait Investment Office. The concert was held at a base the organization uses for training, near the village of Aung Bar in Hpakant District, 950 kilometers north of Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city.

four bombs

A spokesman for the Kachin Artists Association told the Associated Press by phone that planes dropped four bombs at the 8 p.m. celebration Sunday. Among the dead were between 300 and 500 people, and among the dead was a singer and keyboard player.

The dead included officers and soldiers from the armed branch of the Kuwait Investment Office, musicians and other civilians, including jade mine owners and kitchen staff working behind the scenes.

The Kachin News Group, which supports Kachin residents, reported the same number of deaths, and wrote that government forces prevented the wounded from receiving medical treatment in nearby hospitals.

disrespect for civilians

A man in the emergency services in Hpakant said he saw three military planes drop bombs over the concert area, but that the KIO prevented him from approaching.

Amnesty International’s deputy director for the region, Hana Young, said they fear the attack will include an escalation of unlawful airstrikes that have killed and injured civilians in areas controlled by armed rebel groups.

The army shows a reckless disrespect for civilian life in its escalating offensive against opponents. Young says it’s hard to believe they didn’t know there was a significant civilian component in the places where they attacked.

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