On the night of 23 October 2022, the Myanmar Air Force launched a series of airstrikes in Hpakant Township, Kachin State, Northern Myanmar. The targeted area was within the territory of the Kachin Independence Organization's 9th Brigade in the Anangpa (အနန့်ပါ) area. The airstrikes hit an outdoor concert killing at least 80 civilians, including KIO officials and musical performers.
|2022 October Hpakant massacre|
|Part of the Myanmar civil war (2021–present)|
|Target|| Kachin Independence Organization|
Kachin Independence Army
|Date||23 October 2022|
around 08:40 PM (UTC + 06:30 (MMT))
|Executed by||Myanmar Air Force|
|Casualties||at least 80 civilians killed, another unverified number of KIO officials and soldiers killed |
According to witnesses, two to three fighter jets flew over an outdoor concert in Anangpa, Hpakant Township around 8pm on 23 October and dropped four bombs onto the location. Those jets were reported to be flown from Mandalay International Airport, which has been deployed with No. 62nd Attack Squadron that mostly composed of Yak-130 fighter/trainer aircraft. The strike was aided by the bright spotlights of the music concert that had been being held by Kachin Independence Organization at the time of the attack near the target area. The concert was intended for the 62nd Anniversary ceremony of the founding of KIO. Preliminary death toll counts over 80 people, most of them are civilians who came to the event, including famous Kachin public figures and singers. High-ranking KIO officials and soldiers took a number of casualties as well. And more than 100 were injured. The junta denies the bombings, stating that they had bombed a Kachin army base and acted with the rules of engagement derived from the four Geneva Conventions. Their statement also say that reports of civilian deaths and performers are based on fake, false and extorted news.
Among dozens killed in the brutal attack, actor Lahtaw Zau Ding, singer Aurali, singer Galau Yaw Lwi, pianist Ko King are confirmed killed. The Kachin News Group (KNG) says the organizer of the event invited 9 singers and actors to entertain the audiences for the anniversary celebration of KIO. The strike resulted in the deaths of over 80 civilians who were attending the concert at the time of the strike, making it the single deadliest attack on civilians since the start of the renewed civil war. It was reported that one of the bombs landed near the stage, killing three performers as they were performing.
International response edit
ASEAN Chairman Prak Sokhonn issued a statement on the 25th of October expressing grave concern after the airstrike and recent Insein Prison bombing in Yangon. He observes with alarm and urges restraint and cessation of violence.
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu condemned the attack in a statement calling for a halt to the violence in Myanmar, a release of detainees including Aung San Suu Kyi and a restoration of the democratic government.
Domestic response edit
The KIA armed wing flew the flag at half-mast to remember victims of the military air attacks. Sumlut Gun Maw, the leader of KIA, concluded the official letter that is aimed to the Senior General Min Aung Hlaing that "all the tears and cries for those who lost in this air strike would be an invaluable investment".
The junta released a statement denying killing civilians in the air strikes, claiming that the attack was a counter-insurgency operation following all rules of engagement from the Geneva Conventions and that reporting about civilian deaths were fake news. Following the airstrike, the Myanmar Army set up security checkpoints preventing humanitarian aid and first aid responders from entering or leaving Ginsi village, near the site of the airstrike.
The Three Brethren Alliance, also known as the Northern Alliance, has issued a condolence letter to the Kachin Independence Organization/Army. The letter condemns the inhumane air strikes of the junta regime targeting civilians and calls for the international community to take urgent action against the junta regime to prevent further bloodshed.
Other EAOs, including the Karen National Union and Karenni National Progressive Party, condemned the airstrike. Wa State issued a statement expressing dismay at the attack and condolences to the victims of the airstrike. As of the 27th of October, EAOs that have held talk with the junta, including Restoration Council of Shan State, Arakan Liberation Party and Democratic Karen Benevolent Army have remained silent.
See also edit
- "Ethnic group says Myanmar air attack kills 60 at celebration". abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "Air strike during Myanmar concert kills at least 30 - media, opposition". www.reuters.com. 24 October 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-10-26. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- Mike (2022-10-24). "Myanmar Junta's Deadly Airstrike on Kachin Concert a War Crime: KIA". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- Paddock, Richard (2022-10-25). "Airstrike Kills at Least 80 During Outdoor Concert in Myanmar". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2022-10-26. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
- "KIA တေးဂီတပွဲကို ဗုံးကြဲခဲ့သူများမှာ ယက္ခနာမည်ဝှက်ရှိသည့် တိုက်လေယာဉ်မှူးများဖြစ်". Myanmar NOW (in Burmese). Archived from the original on 2022-10-25. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
- "Singers and soldiers among over 60 killed at celebration in Myanmar military air attack, ethnic group says". www.cbsnews.com. 24 October 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "Myanmar airstrike kills dozens at concert, says Kachin separatist group". the Guardian. 2022-10-24. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "Ethnic group says Myanmar air attack kills 60 at celebration". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "Ethnic group says Myanmar air attack kills 60 at celebration". ABC News. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "ဗုံးကျဲတိုက်ခိုက်ခံရမှုကြောင့် ဒဏ်ရာရပြည်သူ ၁၀၀ ကျော်ကို ဆေးကုခွင့်မရအောင် စစ်တပ်က တားမြစ်ထား". Kachin News Group (KNG) (in Burmese). 2022-10-24. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- Lotha, Lesly (2022-10-24). "Statement by the United Nations in Myanmar on reported airstrikes in Hpakant, Kachin State". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2022-10-25. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
- "ASEAN Chairman's Statement on the Recent Escalation of Violence in Myanmar". Kingdom of Cambodia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. 2022-10-25. Archived from the original on 2022-10-26. Retrieved 2022-10-26.
- "Japan's govt. spokesperson condemns Myanmar military's attack in Kachin". NHK. 2022-10-25. Archived from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
- "Australian MP calls for 'immediate' sanctions against Myanmar following junta massacre of Kachin State civilians". Myanmar NOW. Archived from the original on 2022-10-25. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
- "KIO အုပ်ချုပ်နယ်မြေများ၊ ဗဟိုဌာနချုပ် အစိုးရရုံးများနှင့် ပညာရေးကျောင်းတိုင်းတွင် အလံကို တိုင်တစ်ဝက်ချကာလွင့်ထူရန် KIO ညွန်ကြား". Kachin News Group (in Burmese). 25 October 2022. Archived from the original on 23 October 2023. Retrieved 24 October 2022.
- Yeung, Jessie; Sidhu, Sandi (2022-10-26). "Myanmar military airstrikes kill more than 60, Kachin rebels say". CNN. Archived from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
- "Myanmar Junta Forces Prevent Air Strike Victims From Going to Hospitals". The Irrawaddy. 2022-10-25. Archived from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-10-27.
- "Joy at Myanmar concert turns into horror as military air strike kills 60". South China Morning Post. 2022-10-24. Archived from the original on 2022-10-24. Retrieved 2022-10-24.
- "Ethnic Armies Close to Myanmar Junta Fail to Condemn Deadly Kachin Airstrikes". The Irrawaddy. 2022-10-27. Archived from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-10-27.