Junta’s repeated airstrikes continue to create havoc in Myanmar

According to reports, at least 80 people were killed when a fighter jet dropped two bombs on the village where around 150 people were gathered for the opening ceremony of a People’s Administration Team office. These offices are being set up anti-junta forces

April 12, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Myanmar junta airstrikes
Webula in Chin State. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Around 80 people died in airstrikes carried out by the Myanmar junta forces in Pa Zi Gyi village in Sagaing Region’s Kanbalu Township on Tuesday, April 10. According to reports, a fighter jet dropped two bombs on the village where around 150 people were gathered for the opening ceremony of a People’s Administration Team office. The crowd then faced open fire from a Mi-35 helicopter, resulting in several casualties. Women, children, and the elderly made up a large percentage of the casualties, Myanmar Now reported. The real death toll could be as high as 100, according to some reports.

The People’s Administration Team office was being set up under the authority of the National Unity Government (NUG)—a shadow government led by Duwa Lashi La. A statement by the NUG confirmed the attack and said that the “heinous act by the terrorist military is yet another example of their indiscriminate use of extreme force against innocent civilians, constituting a war crime.” 


The incident comes after the junta bombed a school in Webula, a town in Chin State, which left nine civilians dead, including the principal of the school. Junta airstrikes also killed eight civilians in the Kwarpho village of Thantlang Township of the State on March 30.

Salai Htet Ni, spokesperson for the Chin National Army, which is fighting against the military junta, said that “martial law [which remains imposed in the State] does not affect us. The killings continue regardless. We are very sorry for the people’s suffering,” according to Irrawaddy.  

The junta forces have intensified targeted strikes against anti-coup resistance fighters gaining momentum on the ground.

Responding to the carnage at Pa Zi Gyi village, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said that he was “horrified” by the incident that was perpetrated with a “blatant disregard for… the rules of international law.”

The NUG claims that the junta has carried out 652 airstrikes since taking over power in 2021, killing 288 people and injuring 377 severely. An estimated 57 airstrikes were carried out this January alone. Data for Myanmar estimates that Sagaing Region has suffered the most, with 47,778 civilian homes torched amid fighting between junta forces and anti-coup fighters. The destruction has rendered thousands homeless.

According to monitoring group Acled, the number of asymmetrical drone strikes by the military regime more than tripled in 2022. As a result of the direct violence, over 1.5 million people have become internally displaced since the military coup, noted the OCHA (UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) Situation Report in December 2022. Around 15 million people are also short of food in Myanmar, as of December 2022.