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Junta Bomber Destroys Wedding in Myanmar, 28 Dead

Darren Maung
Darren is an aspiring writer who wishes to share or create stories to the world and bring humanity together as one. A massive Star Wars nerd and history buff, he finds enjoyable, heart-warming or interesting subjects in any written media.
Published: June 11, 2024
An aerial shot taken on Oct. 29, 2021, of Thatlang, in Chin State, Myanmar, burning after being bombarded by the junta military. (Image: STR/AFP via Getty Images)

On June 3, a military junta airstrike hit a wedding ceremony in Myanmar, killing 28 people. 

That morning, the bomb fell on a wedding party in the village of Ma Taw in Mingin township, resident U Htay said. Two children, aged eight and one, were among the casualties, along with seven more who died of their injuries later on.

“In rural areas, the place where food is cooked and served, and where wedding gifts are provided, are all in small central areas,” U Htay said. “The bomb struck this central area, causing all people there to be hit.”

The bride and groom were both unharmed as they were heading for the village monastery when the bombs fell.

Soon after the bombings, the military junta continued to attack the village, firing artillery rounds and displacing 2,000 residents from six other villages nearby. Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that families have found it difficult to find the remains of their loved ones while under attack.

“Junta troops are still firing heavy artillery, preventing anyone from daring to collect the dead bodies in the area,” U Htay said. “They are continuously shooting with heavy weapons.”


The junta’s atrocities

According to Telegram channels associated with the military, the airstrikes were conducted because a leader of the local militia, the People’s Defense Force (PDF), in Mingin was one of those getting married, though RFA was unable to confirm this claim.

Since their takeover of the country, Myanmar’s military junta still carries out attacks upon innocent civilians. 

The central dry zone, consisting of the Sagaing, Magway and Mandalay regions, is ripe with resistance from the PDF, prompting the military to bombard more villages with artillery and airstrikes.

“This is not a military campaign at all, but a deliberate bombing of a civilian wedding,” Aung Myo Min, human rights minister for the National Unity Government — a government in exile — said. “It is a military strategy and an intentional attack on the civilian population.”

RFA attempted to contact junta officials like spokesmen Major General Zaw Min Tun and Nyunt Win Aung for comment, but they failed to respond.

In March, the military launched air attacks on villagers in the Rakhine state, taking more innocent lives where there had been no fighting at all. The junta had been in conflict with the Arakan Army (AA), another resistance group, in the state since November last year.

Elsewhere, the junta resumes its persecution of the Muslim Rohingya population, capturing people and throwing them into camps close to the border with Bangladesh. 

Rising resistance

Regardless, the junta had been reported to be losing ground after anti-coup forces joined together for an offensive — dubbed Operation 1027 — that began last October.

According to a report by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M), the resistance had been “expanding” in relation to military losses, al-Jazeera wrote. Since the operation’s start, the PDF secured military positions and border towns close to borders with China, Thailand, Bangladesh and India.

The SAC-M also reported that generals had lost control over townships taking up 86 percent of Myanmar’s territory. It also added that the junta had failed to “uphold the core duties of the state.”

In response to these brutal attacks, the United Nations (UN) called for the Myanmar junta to cease their violence upon its civilians. As refugees continue to flee the country, the organization declared the country “a hunger hotspot” with food shortages that could deepen as the fighting goes on.

The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, expressed his concerns from “reports of ongoing air strikes by the military,” requesting “parties to prevent further incitement of communal tensions.”