Dozens die in strike On Myanmar refugee camp

At least 29 people, includ­ing children, have been killed in an artillery strike on a displaced persons’ camp in north-east Myanmar, near the Chinese border.

The camp is in an area con­trolled by the Kachin Indepen­dence Organisation (KIO), one of several ethnic insurgent groups which have been fighting for self-rule for many decades.

All the victims were civilians, a KIO spokesman told the BBC.

It is one of the deadliest attacks in the 63-year-long conflict in Kachin State.

Kachin officials say the armed forces have scaled up attacks on KIO-run areas over the past year because of growing Kachin sup­port for other insurgent groups fighting the military government.

Much of Myanmar has been embroiled in a wider civil war since a 2021 military coup displaced the country’s elected government. The military has increasingly used air strikes against opposition-controlled towns and villages since seizing power.

The exiled National Unity Gov­ernment (NUG) has blamed the junta for the attack on the camp, describing it as a “war crime and crime against humanity”.

Junta spokesman, Maj Gen Zaw Min Tun, denied that the military was behind the attack.

He claimed the army did not have any operations in the area and said the destruction was “probably” caused by stockpiled explosives.

Mages shared by local media showed bodies being pulled from the rubble and dozens of body bags lying side by side.

The attack late on Monday night happened in the Mong Lai Khet camp for displaced persons – on the outskirts of Laiza, the town on the Chinese border where the KIO has its headquarters. —BBC

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