"People are dying like dogs or cows. We don’t have any weapons to compare with what the military has. We need the help of the international community,” an eyewitness said. [Representational image] PeopleImages/Gettyimages

Following one of the bloodiest strikes since the junta's takeover of power two years ago, relatives were still gathering the charred bodies and limbs of those murdered in a military airstrike on a village in central Myanmar on Wednesday.

When the military bombing occurred, an eyewitness who had been hiding in a tunnel during the assault recalled seeing children dying, mothers wailing, and dead piled up on the ground.

According to the Kyunhla activist group, which was present when the military junta of Myanmar attacked Kanbalu township in the heart of the Sagaing area on Tuesday, at least 100 people—including women and children—were killed.

An eyewitness who spoke to CNN under the condition of anonymity because he fears retaliation said that some 300 people had gathered in Pazigyi Village early on Tuesday morning to celebrate the opening of a local administration office.

Families came from neighboring villages for the occasion, which marked the beginning of the Thingyan New Year celebrations and offered food and tea, CNN reported.

The region is not under the military junta's control, like much of Sagaing. As a part of the anti-junta struggle, the new town office was established with the help of the shadow National Unity Government (NUG).

"We didn't have any warning," the eyewitness said. "Most of the villagers were inside the event, so they didn't notice the jet."

According to the eyewitness and local media, a junta aircraft struck the village where the ceremony was taking place just before 8 a.m. Minutes afterward, a Mi35 helicopter circled and opened fire on the town, the eyewitness said.

"When I arrived at the scene, we tried to search for people still alive," he said. "Everything was terrible. People were dying (as they were being transported) on motorbikes. Children and women. Some lost their heads, limbs, and hands. I saw flesh on the road."

After the incident, the witness claimed to have seen dozens of bodies, including some who were as young as five years old. He claimed that during the strike, he lost four family members, including a little child from his community.

"I saw lots of people coming onto the scene to search for their kids, crying and screaming," he said.

The junta jets came again around 5:30 p.m. and fired at the same location they had bombed earlier, he claimed.

Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun, a spokesman for the Myanmar junta, confirmed the airstrike on Pazigyi Village and said civilian casualties were caused by them being forced to aid "terrorists," according to Reuters.

The NUG and the nation's resistance organizations known as the People's Defense Force have been labeled as terrorist organizations by the junta.

"At 8 a.m.... NUG (National Unity Government) and PDF (People's Defense Force) conducted an opening ceremony of the public administration office at Pazigyi village," Zaw Min Tun said on the military's Myawaddy TV channel.

"We had launched the attack on them. We were informed that PDFs were killed at that event under the attack. They are opposing our government."

"The Myanmar military's attacks against innocent people, including today's airstrike in Sagaing, is enabled by world indifference and those supplying them with weapons," said Tom Andrews, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar.

"How many Myanmar children need to die before world leaders take strong, coordinated action to stop this carnage?"
The US Department of State said it was "deeply concerned" about the airstrikes and called on the regime to "cease the horrific violence."

"These violent attacks further underscore the regime's disregard for human life and its responsibility for the dire political and humanitarian crisis in Burma following the February 2021 coup," it said, using an alternative name for Myanmar.

According to local media Myanmar Now and The Irrawaddy, junta aircraft on Monday struck a town in western Chin state's Falam Township, dropping bombs on a school and killing nine people.

In order to escape conflict in Myawaddy township, 8,000 refugees from the southern Karen state crossed the border into Thailand last week, according to a statement from Thailand's Tak provincial office public relations department posted on Facebook.

At least 22 people—three of them monks—were slain in March at a monastery in the southern Shan state. And in September, at least 13 people, including seven children, were murdered in a military airstrike on a school in Sagaing.

"People are dying like dogs or cows. We don't have any weapons to compare with what the military has. We need the help of the international community," an eyewitness said.

Witness to the incident on Tuesday claimed that "the situation in Myanmar is worse now."

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