Air force damages village school during raid in Ye-U Township

The junta bombed and strafed the village of Yae Myet in Ye-U Township, Sagaing Region, according to resistance groups, damaging a school and leaving unexploded bombs inside the village. 

A fighter jet made several passes over the village, located in Shwebo District about 15 miles northwest of the urban area of Ye-U, and dropped several bombs at around 10am, spokespersons for the resistance groups said.

Zwe, a spokesperson for Battalion 4 of the People’s Defence Forces based in Shwebo District, and Myint Htwe, a spokesperson of Shwebo District People’s Defence Team, said the military aircraft also fired on the monastery and the village school for more than 20 minutes.

“They not only dropped bombs but also fired machine guns. There were no civilian injuries that we know of, but there was significant damage to the school buildings,” Zwe said.

One bomb detonated between the village monastery and school, two others fell and detonated inside and just north of the village, and five more exploded in the nearby fields, according to Zwe. Resistance forces also found two unexploded bombs after the raid—one in front of the monastery’s main building and another inside the village.

“The explosion between the monastery and the school did major damage to the school’s walls, windows, and ceilings. There is also an undetonated bomb at the monastery, so we are trying to reach people with the training to defuse it,” he added.

A worker at a locally active aid group for internally displaced persons (IDPs) said no resistance fighters had been present in the area at the time of the attack. 

“They strafed around the school and village. We assume that the primary target was the school. Yae Myet is far from where the resistance groups operate, so we still don’t know why they attacked the village. We also haven’t finished assessing the damages,” said the IDP aid worker.

“There have only been battles in Taze, not in Ye-U,” referring to another town in Shwebo District. “I think they decided to attack the village because pro-junta propaganda Telegram channels have been posting constantly that there’s a resistance group based in Yae Myet village.”

The military council has not released a statement regarding the attack.

Yae Myet previously came under attack by the military in December 2021. Junta aircraft raided Yae Myet and nearby villages, followed by ground troops who carried out arson attacks, forcing some 5,000 local people to flee their homes. 

The military council issued a statement at the time claiming the military was only seeking to drive out or capture terrorists meeting in the village. 

Resistance groups were present in the village during the December 2021 attacks but were absent during the recent raid, according to Myint Htwe. 

“The leaders of some resistance groups, including myself, were present at the time of the earlier attack, but there were none meeting or present in the village this time,’ he confirmed.

A junta force stationed in Ye-U also repeatedly attacked villages elsewhere in the township earlier this year, with one arson attack killing an elderly woman in a village on the Mu River just north of Ye-U.

The military also conducted an airstrike on a high school run by the publicly mandated National Unity Government in the township’s Htan Taw village in May. 

The school, which was attended by 300 students and staffed by civil disobedience movement teachers striking against the coup regime, sustained significant damage. However, no one was harmed as classes happened to end early on the day the attack took place.

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