Three Burmese military junta helicopters attacked five towns, forcing people to flee and destroying places of worship. An investigation by Amnesty International denounces the use of anti-personnel mines in Kayah state.
Rangoon ( / Agencies) – Monhla, the hometown of Card. Charles Maung Bo, Archbishop of Rangoon, is one of five towns in the Sagaing region that were hit by an airstrike by the Burmese military junta on July 18.
myanmar now reported that the three helicopters also fired on the villages of Pin Sein Khin, Kyi Su, Ka Lon and Thayet Taw, in Khin-U and Ye-U townships.
A head of the Armed Revolutionary Force, a Khin-U-based resistance group, confirmed that a church, two Buddhist monasteries and a pagoda were damaged. “The nuns and the priest escaped,” said a woman from the town where some 700 families live in normal times.
The Card. Bo was born in Monhla in 1948. On February 1, 2021, the Burmese army overthrew the previous civilian government led by Aung San Suu Kyi in a coup and began a harsh crackdown that later sparked civil conflict.
In May the cardinal had published a statement calling on the military to refrain from attacking religious sites, after they killed four people sheltering in a church in Kayah state. In December of the previous year, the cardinal had celebrated Christmas with the army chief, General Min Aung Hlaing.
According to International Amnesty The army is committing war crimes by burying mines around the villages to stop the resistance troops. The anti-coup front is made up of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) and various ethnic militias in the country, which various groups of combatants have joined in recent months.
During a visit to Kayah state, close to the Thai border, Amnesty researchers interviewed landmine survivors, the health workers who had treated them and other aid workers involved in demining operations. The NGO said it had “credible information” to say that the military junta had placed landmines around at least 20 villages and also on trails that cross rice paddies.
Despite the demining attempts of the anti-coup militias, who lack the professional training and the necessary tools to neutralize the artifacts, the most serious problems will arise in the future. “We know from bitter experience that civilian deaths and injuries will increase over time. Landmines are already preventing people from returning to their homes and farmlands,” said Rawya Rageh, Amnesty consultant.