A growing revolt in Myanmar | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

A growing revolt in Myanmar

In the city of Naypyitaw on Saturday, Myanmar’s military junta celebrated Armed Forces Day, a holiday marking the beginning of Myanmar’s revolt against Japanese occupation during World War II. The weekend celebration came with a parade, a speech by coup leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, and a lavish dinner party.

Meanwhile, across the country, soldiers and police shot largely defenseless anti-coup protesters and bystanders—including children—killing 100 people in the country’s deadliest day since the military’s Feb. 1 takeover.

The day also marked a major escalation of violence in another conflict in Myanmar: the military’s ongoing fighting with local ethnic groups. In the ethnic Karen region in eastern Myanmar, villagers in Day Pu Noh Valley in Papun District noticed a military fighter jet flying overhead in the afternoon. That night, the military dropped bombs on the village—the first airstrikes in the region in 20 years—killing three people and wounding eight. The district is held by the armed Brigade 5 forces of the Karen National Union (KNU), a leading political body representing the ethnic group.

Saw Aye Lay Htoo, 27, was holding his 2-year-old son in his lap when the bomb hit, according to Christian aid group Free Burma Rangers. The father died instantly while pieces of shrapnel cut the right side of his child’s face. Villagers grabbed their children and belongings and fled to the jungle, finding shelter in caves and rock crevices as the Free Burma Rangers tended to the wounded, provided rice, and passed out tarps.