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UN says ‘alarmed’ by deadly Myanmar air strikes against Rohingya Muslims

UN Secretary-General António Guterres is “alarmed” by reports of ongoing airstrikes in Myanmar that have killed more than 20 civilians in Rakhine State’s Minbya township on Monday, a UN spokesperson said.  

“The expansion of conflict in (predominantly Muslim) Rakhine State is driving displacement and exacerbating pre-existing vulnerabilities and discrimination,” the spokesperson said.

“[The UN Secretary-General] is alarmed by reports of ongoing airstrikes by the military, including today in Minbya township that reportedly killed and injured many civilians.

There have been violent confrontations in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state following an “attack”  on security forces in November, which marked the end of a ceasefire that had been mostly observed since the military coup in 2021.

“The Secretary-General calls on all parties to prevent further incitement of communal tensions,” the spokesperson added.

Minbya township in Rakhine is one of the locations where the air strikes are taking place and experienced heavy clashes between the military junta’s armed wing, Tatmadaw, and the Arakan Army (AA) during the war in Myanmar, and came under full control of the Arakans last month.

The Monday airstrike hit the Muslim-majority village of Thar Dar around 1:45 am after a fighter jet dropped bombs, killing 10 men, four women, and 10 children, one resident told AFP, while another resident, asking for anonymity, said 23 people had been killed in the blast and 18 wounded.

“The jet fighter fired continuously and dropped bombs which killed 20 villagers on the spot. Three of 15 injured villagers later died in the hospital,” said a resident.

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