BANGKOK – Humanitarian group Save the Children said on Tuesday it had confirmed that two of its workers were among at least 35 people, including children, who were killed in eastern Myanmar on Christmas Eve in an alleged attack to the country’s army.
He said the two staff members were caught in the attack in Kayah state as they returned to their office after carrying out humanitarian activities in a nearby community.
“The violence against innocent civilians, including aid workers, is intolerable, and this senseless attack is a violation of international humanitarian law,” the group’s chief executive, Inger Ashing, said in a statement.
“This is not an isolated event. The people of Myanmar continue to be the target of increasing violence and these events demand an immediate response, ”Ashing said.
The military seized power in February, toppling the elected government and arresting senior officials. Its action was met with non-violent nationwide protests, which security forces suppressed with lethal force, killing nearly 1,400 civilians, according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners.
Peaceful protests continued, but armed resistance also grew amid the harsh crackdown, to the point that UN experts warned the country could slide into civil war.
Save the Children called on the UN Security Council to respond to military violence with measures including an arms embargo. He also urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to push for the implementation of an agreement reached in April with the Myanmar leader calling for an end to the violence in the country and mediation. an ASEAN special envoy.
Photos of the attack have spread through social media in Myanmar, fueling outrage against the military.
Photos show the charred bodies of more than 30 people in three burned-out vehicles allegedly shot down by government troops as they fled the fighting.
On Sunday, the US embassy in Myanmar expressed dismay at “the barbaric attack in Kayah state which killed at least 35 civilians, including women and children.”
“We will continue to press for the perpetrators of the ongoing campaign of violence against the Burmese people to be held accountable,” he said, using Myanmar’s old name.
A villager who said he visited the scene told The Associated Press that the victims fled fighting between armed resistance groups and the Burmese army near the village of Koi Ngan, which is just outside Mo So, Friday. He said they were killed after being stopped by soldiers on their way to refugee camps in the western part of the commune. His account could not be verified immediately.
An article in the official Myanma Alinn newspaper on Saturday said fighting near Mo So erupted on Friday when members of the ethnic guerrilla forces, known as the Karenni National Progressive Party, and opponents of the military led “suspicious” vehicles and attacked security forces after refusing to stop.
The newspaper said the seven vehicles they were traveling in were destroyed in a fire. He gave no further details about the murders.
Earlier this month, government troops were also accused of rounding up villagers, some believed to be children, of tying them up and slaughtering them. Opposition leader Dr Sasa, who uses only one name, said civilians were burned to death.
Save the Children said she had worked in Myanmar since 1995, providing health, food, education and child protection services. He said he had suspended operations in the area of the attack.
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