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Amnesty International calls for investigation into Sagaing airstrikes; Eight killed in Bago Region attacks

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Amnesty International calls for investigation into Sagaing airstrikes

Amnesty International stated that an airstrike which killed 17 people, including nine children, in Kanan village of Sagaing Region on Jan. 7 must be investigated as a war crime.

“The UN Security Council should refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court. The perpetrators of these crimes under international law must be brought to justice,” said Matt Wells, director of Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Programme. 

An investigation from Amnesty International found that damages to churches, schools, and houses in Kanan were consistent with airstrikes. It added that the attacks were indiscriminate since they occurred as civilians were gathering for church and a second time when residents were fleeing.

Eight killed in Bago Region attacks

Eight people were killed and at least 50 were injured by airstrikes carried out on Zayatgyi town in Htantabin Township of Bago Region on Feb. 7-8. Over 1,000 residents were displaced from their homes.

“We found eight people dead on the streets. The identities of the victims are unknown as we also had to flee,” a Htantabin resident told DVB. Fighting between the Burma Army and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) began in the township on Wednesday. 

The Bamar People’s Liberation Army (BPLA) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) assisted the KNLA during the clashes. Twenty patients at a local hospital are reported to be trapped and are waiting for rescue or for fighting to stop. 

UNICEF condemns airstrikes on Karenni schools

The U.N. International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) released a statement condemning airstrikes on two primary schools in Demoso Township of Karenni State that killed four children, ages 12-14, and three adults on Monday. 

“UNICEF strongly condemns any strikes against schools and places of learning, which must always be safe spaces for children,” said the statement. Read more here.

News by Region

Yin Moe was a political prisoner at Obo Prison sentenced for violating section 505(a) of the penal code. (Credit: Political Prisoners Network Myanmar)

MANDALAY—The Political Prisoners Network Myanmar (PPNM) stated that political prisoner Yin Moe died at Mandalay Hospital on Monday due to receiving inadequate medical care for a kidney disease at Obo Prison.  

Yin Moe, 35, was arrested and sentenced under incitement in March 2021. She was transferred to Myingyan Prison last year, but was returned to Obo Prison due to her deteriorating health condition. 

The PPNM added that Yin Moe repeatedly requested to be treated at an outside hospital. Prison authorities cited security concerns for not allowing her to go to Mandalay Hospital sooner. At least five political prisoners have died due to inadequate health care in prison in the past few months.

ARAKAN—The Arakan Army (AA) accused the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO) and Arakan Rohingya Army (ARA) of fighting alongside the Burma Army during battles for two military border outposts in Maungdaw Township Feb. 4-6. 

The AA stated that the two Rohingya armed groups assisted the regime’s Border Guard Police to flee into Bangladesh to escape attacks. It shared pictures of weapons and narcotics it claimed to have seized after taking control of the Taung Pyo Let Yar and Let Wae outposts along the Bangladesh-Burma border. 

AYEYARWADY—Thirty administrators in Kangyidaunt Township resigned Feb. 3-6 after the Burma Army ordered them to attend military training. Reports of forced recruitment have been shared in other townships since last month. 

“They were told to participate in military training for two to three weeks, which they were unwilling to attend,” a source close to the Burma Army told DVB. 

KAREN—The KNLA said that 20 Burma Army personnel were killed and many were injured after it captured a military outpost with the assistance of the PDF and the Border Guard Force (BGF) in Kawkareik Township on Wednesday. They immediately withdrew from the outpost after seizing it. 

Nearly 100,000 Kawkareik residents have been displaced from their homes due to fighting since December. They are facing difficulties finding food. Nearly 20 civilians have been killed and more than 100 homes have been burned down so far, according to residents. 

KARENNI—The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) claimed that six members of a family, including three children and a pregnant woman, were killed by the Burma Army in Shadaw Township on Monday. 

“The victims encountered the [soldiers] and were taken as hostages. The army exchanged fire when they met the KNDF and then killed those hostages,” said a KNDF member. The children were between the ages of 3-7. The father was the only survivor. 

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