It was early evening, and people had gathered at a local pandal in Moe Dar Lay village, in Myanmar’s Sagaing Region, to prepare for a Buddhist novice ordination ceremony the following day. Just as they began to cook, fighter jets appeared in the sky. Then the sound of explosions boomed through the air.
“The jets dropped the bombs out of nowhere,” said Naing Ko*, who was just a few houses from the pandal when the attack happened on 19 January. He recalled grabbing his wife and son and rushing to see what had happened. His parent’s home, a few kilometres away, was engulfed in flames. His mother, 68, was among eight people killed. She died instantly.
Such attacks have become an almost daily occurrence across Myanmar, where the military junta, which seized power in February 2021, is increasingly launching airstrikes across swathes of the country in an attempt to suppress a determined opposition. A report by Myanmar Witness identified 135 “airwar” incidents over the last six months of 2022 – with each most likely representing more than a single airstrike….