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Drone attack kills 8, injures 30 in Sagaing region

Eight people were killed and 30 were injured when a drone bombed a water festival pavilion in a village in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region.

Locals said most of those injured in Thursday’s attack on Sagaing township’s Kywei Pon village were junta troops and members of the affiliated Pyu Saw Htee militia who were gathering there to celebrate the Thingyan festival in the run up to Burmese new year. 

A junta statement released Friday confirmed the number of casualties and said five children were among the dead. It blamed a local People’s Defense Force for the attack, saying the drone dropped four bombs on the building.

One resident told RFA the junta built the pavilion on a school soccer pitch. He said junta troops have been stationed in Sagaing township near the village since the February 2021 coup and local People’s Defense Forces often attack them.

“I saw three cars transporting injured people to Sagaing’s 200-bed hospital this morning,” said the local, who didn’t want to be identified for safety reasons.

“The army fired heavy artillery shells around the village after the incident.”

Thursday, the first day of the water festival, was marked by a series of bombings of junta-built Thingyan pavilions.

Four people were killed and 11 injured in Shan state’s Lashio town.

Bombs also went off in Bago region’s Letpadan township, and Yangon’s Thaketa and Hlaingtharya townships but no one was injured.

No group has claimed responsibility for any of Thursday’s attacks.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.