No fewer than eleven people, including eight children, have been killed in Myanmar’s Chin State after a military jet bombed a school, villagers say.
According to locals, the strike occurred on Wednesday in the secluded mountain community of Vuilu.
Myanmar is currently at war, with several armed groups battling the military junta that toppled an elected government in 2021.
Chin State is a bastion of opposition to the junta.
This week, its grassroots insurgency saw ethnic Chin militants retake the border town of Rikhawdar.
Locals say there are no insurgents in Vuilu, which has less than 80 families and is located in the state’s south.
According to social media postings, military planes dropped at least two bombs on the area on Wednesday evening.
One razed a house that was being used as an improvised school, killing the eight children and three adults who were enrolled. Ha Luang, 34, and his mother, as well as his two children, were among the victims.
The kids who were killed ranged in age from seven to eleven years. Several more houses, as well as the village’s two churches, were also damaged by the bombs.
Locals claim there has been no fighting near Vuilu, and they are unsure why the village was attacked.
Over the last three weeks, the military government has suffered a series of defeats in attacks by opposition groups across the nation, and it is depending heavily on air power to respond.
Chin State communities were among the first to take up weapons against the junta following the 2021 coup, using home-made hunting rifles to ambush military convoys.
Locally created militias across the vast, mountainous state banded together under the banner of the Chin Defence Force and began acquiring sophisticated weapons from India across the border.
Fighting between the military and the well-armed Arakan Army insurgents, who now control much of adjacent Rakhine State, has also damaged the south of Chin State, particularly the town of Paletwa.
Ethnic Chin militants have succeeded in seizing a number of military bases and limiting the majority of government forces to fortified barracks in major towns.
The Chin, who are primarily Christian, have long complained about the central government’s neglect and abuse. The state had an active armed rebellion in prior decades.