At least 60 people have reportedly been killed and more than 100 injured during an air strike in Kachin State, Myanmar.
The reports, which emerged via Al Jazeera, said the strike happened via the Myanmar military at the festival and involved two Myanmar military jets. The event was celebrating its 62nd anniversary since the founding of Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO).
Myanmar is currently being ruled by a military junta, who overthrew the elected National League for Democracy government in a coup d’état in 2021.
The festival featured performances from famed Kachin musicians including Aurali and Galau Yaw Lwi.
One of the bombs reportedly detonated near the main stage while singer Aurai was performing, killing him instantly according to Myanmar Now. Other artists reportedly killed in the attack were singer Yaw Lwi and keyboard player Ko King. At the time of writing, no official reports can confirm these deaths due to communication restrictions in the region.
Reported footage from the scene also emerged via Burma Campaign UK and shows the level of destruction that occurred:
Horrific reports of 60 killed & 200 injured by Burmese military airstrikes on a music festival in Kachin State last night. We are trying to confirm details.
We renew our call for aviation fuel sanctions to try to help stop these attacks.
Footage from WeChat. pic.twitter.com/l8BoX1kAcb
— Burma Campaign UK (@burmacampaignuk) October 24, 2022
Figures from the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners claim that at least 2,370 people have been killed and more than 15,900 arrested since the Myanmar junta took over the country, according to Mixmag.
Official death tolls are still unknown as the Internet has been closed off in the region in an attempt to stop the spread of information. The death toll was reported by a former Myanmar MP from the region who has spoken to international media.
The United Nations’ office in Myanmar said it was “deeply concerned and saddened” by reports of the air strikes.
They added: “What would appear to be excessive and disproportionate use of force by security forces against unarmed civilians is unacceptable and those responsible must be held to account.
“Initial reports suggest that over 100 civilians may have been affected by the bombing…numerous fatalities have also been reported.”
This is a developing story – more to follow