The United States has expressed its deep concern and strong condemnation over the Myanmar military’s attack on a camp for internally displaced persons in Kachin State, which killed at least 29 people, including children.
The US Department of State Spokesperson, Matthew Miller, said in a statement on Tuesday that the attack on the camp near Mung Lai Hkyet village on October 9 was one of the military regime’s ongoing attacks that have claimed thousands of lives since the February 2021 coup.
“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. More than 1.6 million people have been internally displaced since the coup,” Miller said.
He added that the United States will continue to support the people of Burma and all those working peacefully to support their aspirations for peace and inclusive democracy.
The attack on the IDP camp, which was located near a base of the Kachin Independence Army, one of the ethnic armed groups fighting against the junta, was reportedly carried out by heavy artillery or an airstrike.
Local media and activists said that the attack happened at around 11:30 pm on Monday night and destroyed most of the houses in the camp. Many of the victims were buried under the rubble and some were severely injured. A three-month-old baby was among the children killed, according to a Kachin activist based in Laiza.
The UN has warned of limited humanitarian access in Kachin State and many other areas of the country, describing a dire level of need. The military has frequently been accused of striking civilian sites, including hospitals, schools, religious sites and civilian homes. Last year, the military killed 60 people, including musicians and children, in an airstrike that targeted a concert in Kachin.
Kachin State is one of the regions where armed resistance against the junta has intensified since the coup that ousted the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi. The KIA has been engaged in sporadic clashes with the military for decades, demanding more autonomy and rights for the Kachin people.