Junta airstrikes killed 11 children in the village of Let Yet Kone in Tabayin Township, Sagaing Region, Myanmar on Friday. Junta soldiers burned most of the bodies in Ye-u, about 11 kilometers from the scene, to erase evidence of the killings. Bangkok-based Myanmar newspaper Irrawaddy reported the information citing local sources.
According to Irrawaddy, two Mi-35 helicopters attacked a monastic school in the village of Let Yet Kone at 1 pm local time on Friday. Seven children were killed on the spot. Also, a total of 17 people including three teachers and 14 students were injured. Two more children died when the ground forces later raided the village.
The bodies of the seven children killed in the initial airstrike and the wounded were taken to a traditional medicine hospital in Ye-yu by regime forces overnight. Their bodies were cremated the next day at Ye-Yu Cemetery. They cremated two more bodies at the cemetery around 4 pm.
A person who visited the school after the airstrike said, ‘Some of the children who were taken in the car had their lower body parts or limbs cut off. A dismembered child was wrapped and placed in a bamboo basket. The basket was used as a backpack by the Myanmar military. There was a flood of blood inside the school. On the fan, on the walls and on the ceiling, there were pieces of flesh scattered everywhere.’
Another resident of Let Yet Kone said, ‘Parents of two children came to look for their children, but they found nothing but the children’s clothes. The junta soldiers did not leave a single piece of the body, so the parents could not perform the funeral.’
According to the Ye-yu Township People’s Defense Force (PDF), the bodies of four boys and two girls were cremated at Ye-yu Cemetery around 6 a.m. Saturday, along with a bag of organs from different bodies, and two more boys were cremated at 4 p.m.
On Friday evening, junta soldiers forced a resident of the village to take three injured teachers and 14 injured children, as well as the bodies of the dead children, to Ye-Yu.
Another resident of Ye-yu said, ‘Regime forces returned to Ye-yu, they forced both dead and injured children into a car and drove away. The driver thought the bodies might be soldiers. But he opened the sack and was shocked to see the children.’
The injured have been admitted to the Traditional Medicine Hospital in Ye-yu. Junta troops have made their bases there. Some of these children were seriously injured and lost their limbs.
It is unclear which battalions were responsible for the killings, but local resistance groups believe they belong to Light Infantry Battalion 701 based in Hamaubi, Yangon, and Division 33 based in Sagaing, under the Yangon Command.
Besides the young children, seven other villagers were killed, including two teenagers aged 13 and 16. Among the five other victims, there is a woman. Their ages were 22, 31, 34, 37 and 49 years.
According to residents, the junta forces launched airstrikes after alleging that resistance forces were stationed at the village monastery.
Janta Mayawadi TV said in a newscast on Saturday that the Myanmar military had checked the village monastery in response to a tip-off that the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the PDF were planning to transport weapons through Let Yet Kon and that the monastery was a hideout for National League for Democracy supporters and PDF members. . They extort money from locals and tourists.
The junta also said, ‘Civilians were killed as the KIA and PDF were used as human shields in exchange. But local residents said it was a one-sided attack by the junta forces.
Similar incidents of infanticide occurred on Thursday and Saturday. Two displaced sisters, aged 7 and 12, who were sheltering in a monastery in Moebet on the Shan-Kayah border, were killed in a junta artillery strike on Thursday.
A 5-year-old boy was killed by junta soldiers in Kantabalu township of Sagaing region on Saturday.