US condemns Myanmar refugee camp strike, calls it ‘military attack’

The United States on Tuesday condemned what it called a reported ‘military attack’ in Myanmar on a refugee camp that led to the killing of several civilians, Reuters reports.

THE TAKE

At least 29 people, including women and children, were killed in Myanmar in an artillery strike on a refugee camp near the border with China which sources said was carried out by the ruling military.

KEY QUOTES

“We are deeply concerned by reports of a Burma military attack on an internally displaced persons camp near Mung Lai Hkyet village in Kachin State on Oct 9,” the US State Department said.

“We strongly condemn the military regime’s ongoing attacks that have claimed thousands of lives since the February 2021 coup and continue to exacerbate the region’s most severe humanitarian crisis,” the State Department added.

CONTEXT

The attack was one of the deadliest on civilians since the military seized power in a 2021 coup, which triggered conflict with a resistance movement and armed ethnic groups across the country.

Sources said artillery hit a camp for internally displaced people about 3 miles (5 kms) from a base in the town of Laiza run by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which has been in conflict with Myanmar’s military for years.

Laiza sits close to the Chinese border and is home to many civilians living in displacement camps in and around the town. The UN says more than a million people have been displaced by the conflict in Myanmar.

The shadow National Unity Government (NUG) and the British Embassy in Yangon blamed the military for the shelling, which took place close to midnight on Monday in Kachin State.

A spokesperson for the junta said the military was not responsible.

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