At least 50 killed in Myanmar’s Hapakant after airstrikes on ethnic minority group concert

In Myanmar, at least 50 people were killed and dozens injured in an airstrike on a concert by an ethnic minority group in clashes with the ruling army on Monday (October 24).

It is understood that three jets carried out the attack.

The military has yet to confirm the attack, which took place in the northern state of Kachin. Local media reported that civilians, prominent local singers and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) officers were killed in the attack.

KIA spokesman Colonel Nao Bu told AFP that the jets launched a surprise attack around 8:40 p.m. local time. He said the attack “killed around 50 people, including KIA members and civilians.”

The United Nations Office in Myanmar said it is deeply concerned and saddened by the airstrikes in Hapakante Kachin State.

“Preliminary reports estimate that more than 100 civilians were injured in the shelling. Numerous casualties are also reported.”

Meanwhile, the US embassy in Yangon said it was “following reports of an attack targeting a rally in Kachin that resulted in the death of a large number of civilians”.

Amnesty International, on the other hand, declared the attack “part of a pattern of unlawful airstrikes by the military, which has resulted in the killing and wounding of civilians in areas controlled by armed groups”.

Myanmar’s conflict has escalated since the army took over last year. The attack came before Southeast Asian foreign ministers were due to hold emergency talks in November on the situation in Myanmar.

(with input from agencies)

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