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

The bomb fell on a wedding party in Ma Taw village in Mingin township that morning, said local resident U Htay. Two children, aged eight and one, were among the victims, and seven others later died of their injuries.

“In the countryside, the places where food is cooked and served and where wedding gifts are distributed are all small, central areas,” U Htay said. “The bomb hit this central area and all the people there were hit.”

The bride and groom were unharmed and were on their way to the village monastery when the bombs fell.

Shortly after the bombings, the military junta continued its attacks on the village, firing artillery shells and displacing 2,000 residents from six other nearby villages. Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that families had difficulty finding the remains of their loved ones during the attacks.

“The junta troops are still firing heavy artillery and preventing anyone from daring to collect the bodies in the area,” U Htay said. “They are firing non-stop with heavy weapons.”

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The atrocities of the junta

According to military Telegram channels, the airstrikes were carried out because a leader of the local militia, the People’s Defense Force (PDF), was among those getting married in Mingin. However, RFA could not confirm this claim.

Since seizing power in the country, Myanmar’s military junta has continued to carry out attacks on innocent civilians.

There is strong resistance from the PDF in the central dry zone, which consists of the Sagaing, Magway and Mandalay regions, prompting the military to bombard more villages with artillery and air strikes.

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

RFA tried to contact junta officials, including spokesmen Major General Zaw Min Tun and Nyunt Win Aung, for comment, but received no response.

In March, the military launched airstrikes on villagers in Rakhine State, claiming more innocent lives despite no fighting at all. The junta has been in conflict with the Arakan Army (AA), another resistance group in the state, since November last year.

Elsewhere, the junta is resuming its persecution of the Muslim Rohingya population, arresting people and putting them in camps near the border with Bangladesh.

Growing resistance

Nevertheless, there were reports that the junta was losing ground after anti-coup forces joined forces in an offensive – known as Operation 1027 – that began last October.

According to a report by the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar (SAC-M), resistance has “increased” in relation to military losses, Al-Jazeera wrote. Since the start of the operation, the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar has secured military positions and border towns near the borders with China, Thailand, Bangladesh and India.

The SAC-M also reported that the generals had lost control of townships that make up 86 percent of Myanmar’s territory, adding that the junta had failed to “fulfill the core responsibilities of the state.”

In response to these brutal attacks, the United Nations (UN) called on Myanmar’s junta to stop its violence against the civilian population. As refugees continue to flee the country, the organization declared the country a “hunger hotspot” with food shortages likely to worsen as the fighting continues.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern over “reports of ongoing military air strikes” and called on the “parties to prevent further escalation of communal tensions.”

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