At least 53 people are killed in a Myanmar military airstrike, according to witnesses.
According to survivors, at least 53 people were killed in one of Myanmar’s bloodiest airstrikes during the civil war.
According to reports, the dead include at least 15 women and a number of children. The BBC is unable to verify the figures.
The attack on Tuesday targeted a village in the northwestern Sagaing region that has been critical of the military government.
Since seizing power in February 2021, the military has increased its use of air strikes against opponents.
Communities in Sagaing have organized some of Myanmar’s most vocal opposition to military rule, forming their own militias and operating their own schools and clinics.
According to one villager, a military jet flew over around 07:00 local time (01:30 BST) and dropped a bomb, followed by a helicopter gunship that attacked the village for 20 minutes.
Residents shared video of scenes of heinous carnage, including dismembered bodies on the ground and several buildings on fire.
“Please call out if you are still alive; we are coming to help you,” they could be heard shouting as they walked through Pa Zi Gyi in search of victims of the attack.
They claimed that they attempted to count the bodies, but that it was difficult because many of them were in pieces, scattered among shredded clothing and burned motorcycles.
Pa Zi Gyi was packed with people from nearby communities celebrating the opening of a new People’s Defence Forces (PDF) office.
The PDFs are volunteer anti-coup militias fighting the military in different parts of Myanmar.
Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, was “horrified” by the incident, which he described as a “blatant disregard for… the rules of international law.”