Burma Army Air Strike Kills Seven Civilians in Paletwa

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At least seven civilians were killed and eight injured in an air attack by the Burma Army on a village in southern Chin State’s Paletwa Township on Tuesday, a local parliamentarian said.

The strike followed clashes between government forces and the Arakan Army, and hit the village of Nang Chaungwa, located 10 miles from Paletwa town on the Paletwa-Kyauktaw road, which has been closed. The Burma Army’s combat helicopters reportedly dropped bombs on the community between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.

“Seven villagers were killed on the spot. Eight villagers were injured in the air attack. Some houses were burned down,” parliamentarian Salai Myo Htet told Khonumthung News of the 40-household community of Nang Chaungwa. “The injured people were transferred to Paletwa. Two villagers are in critical condition.”

He added that the two victims who were seriously injured were moved to Mindat public hospital through the towns of Sami and Matupi.

The airstrike is the second by the Burma Army on Paletwa villages in just over one week. At least two villagers were injured and 13 homes were burned in an attack on Bawngwa village on March 31.

At least 21 civilians were killed in another Burma Army air attack on multiple villages in Paletwa on March 14 and 15.

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres made a global appeal for a ceasefire in conflict areas on March 30, so the focus can be on fighting the current COVID-19 pandemic. Ethnic armed organizations across Burma have reiterated the need for a ceasefire nationwide, but the Burma Army has thus far rejected the demands.

Clashes continue to intensify between government troops and the AA, with an estimated 150,000 civilians displaced in southern Chin State and northern Rakhine State since 2018.

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