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Monk killed in Myanmar junta air raid on Sagaing region monastery

Junta air raids on two Sagaing region villages killed 12 civilians including a monk, locals told RFA Wednesday.

They said 11 people from Pale township’s Nyaung Kone and one from Pi Tauk Kone village died in Tuesday’s attack.

A school teacher from Nyaung Kone, who didn’t want to be named for security reasons, told RFA the air force dropped three 500-pound bombs around the village monastery, killing one monk and 10 locals.

“It happened when I was teaching children at school,” the teacher said.

“I used to hear the plane approaching but this time I didn’t hear it until the bomb exploded. The bomb’s fragments and dust flew towards our school. Some people were already dead when I arrived at the scene of the explosions. Some are injured and receiving emergency medical treatment.”

The monk was named as 55-year-old Kay Mar. Six men and two women, aged between 41 and 70, died on the spot. Four of the dead were relatives of the monk.

An 18-year-old woman and a 48-year-old man were critically injured and died in Pale Township Hospital on Tuesday night.

All the bodies were cremated on Tuesday night.

Residents said six more people were injured and receiving treatment in the village.

The aftermath of a junta airstrike on Nyaung Kone village, Pale township, Sagaing region Jun 27, 2023. Credit: Pale township People’s Defense Force

A member of the People’s Administration Group of Pale township said that the junta attacked the village with Russian-made Yakovlev Yak-130 jet, destroying the monastery and 13 houses.

Locals said a woman died and another was injured in a separate air raid on Pi Tauk Kone village on Tuesday night.

The names and the ages of the dead and injured are not yet known because it is difficult to contact Pi Tauk Kone by phone.

RFA called Sagaing region junta spokesperson Aye Hlaing on Wednesday but nobody answered.

There were 454 airstrikes across Myanmar between January and April 2023, according to independent research group Nyan Lynn Thit Analytica, resulting in 292 deaths.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.