Two civilians killed by Myanmar military airstrikes in Chin State

Two civilians were killed and several others were injured when Myanmar’s military carried out a series of airstrikes on two villages in Chin State’s Mindat Township on Saturday.

Resistance sources in the area said that a school and a church were targeted in the attacks on the villages of Tsun Taung and Chat, both located some 25km north of the town of Mindat.

“There was no fighting there at all before the airstrikes. They just dropped bombs near a school and a church,” said Yaw Man, a spokesperson for the anti-regime Mindat People’s Administration Team.

The attacks, which took place at around 11am, were carried out by two fighter jets, he said.

”They dropped three bombs, flew past, and then turned around and dropped two more. They left after the second bombing. We could see the jets very up-close,” he told Myanmar Now.

“Churches and schools are places that should never be bombed, but they’re too self-absorbed to understand that. So we have no choice but to continue fighting with much more force,” he said.

He added that the bodies of the victims had yet to be identified because they were so badly disfigured. He also said that the injured included both civilians and resistance fighters. 

According to Yaw Man, Chat was also the target of airstrikes carried out in the middle of last year.

“The jets came from Magway Region and dropped bombs on Chat. Even people living in the town of Mindat were startled by the attack,” he said.

Myanmar’s military junta has not made any statement on the latest airstrikes or its targeting of a school and church. In the past, however, it has claimed that such structures have been used by resistance forces to carry out attacks on regime soldiers.

The junta has also been accused of heavy shelling in the area. Its Mindat-based Infantry Battalion 274 killed at least four civilians—a 14-year-old boy, two women, and a 70-year-old man—there last month alone.

Mindat was among the first places in Myanmar to mount an armed resistance struggle against the regime that seized power in a coup in February of last year.

Chin resistance groups have inflicted heavy casualties on junta forces, resulting in the military’s growing reliance on air power and heavy artillery to attack regime opponents.

The military has also deployed fighter jets and other military aircraft in Karen (Kayin) State as clashes there continue to intensify.

Last week, a Myanmar jet deployed to attack Karen forces fighting for control of a military outpost in the village of Oo Ka Yit Hta, near the Thai border, reportedly entered Thai airspace.

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