Myanmar military’s airstrikes on an ethnic rebel-controlled area in the country’s southeast has killed and injured several children, humanitarian aid groups said.
According to media reports, many of the villages targeted are controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), an ethnic armed group that holds large swathes of territory in the borderlands.
A 5-year-old boy died in a bombing on Sunday, and a 12-year-old girl was hit in the face by bomb shrapnel, according to relief organization Free Burma Rangers (FBR).
In a statement on Tuesday, the KNU condemned the Myanmar military’s bombing campaign. “Villagers, including underage children, have been killed by airstrikes,” the KNU statement said. “Many are injured.”
The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that on Tuesday, the country provided medical treatment and other assistance to seven people who were injured while fleeing Myanmar.
“Six ambulances were deployed to take them to the hospital,” said the ministry in a statement. Assistance was also given to vulnerable groups like children and the elderly.
“These people were unable to return across the border yesterday, despite their wish to return home they had also expressed their fear from air raids,” said the statement. “Authorities concerned have ensured that this particular group of people were well taken care of, and that they were prepared for their return back home when the situation is deemed safe.”
Since the coup on February 1, Myanmar security forces have killed at least 521 people, with more than 2,600 detained, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
On February 1, Myanmar’s military seized power in the country, announcing a one-year state of emergency and vowing to take action against alleged voter fraud during the November 8 general election.
The military said it was committed to the democratic system and vowed to hold new and fair elections after the state of emergency ends.