Children killed as clashes between Myanmar army, fighters rage

The Myanmar army is carrying out “almost daily air strikes and shelling” in the restive Rakhine and Chin states amid a surge in clashes with fighters, with reports of at least 32 civilians killed in recent weeks, according to the United Nations human rights office.

The Arakan Army, an armed group seeking greater autonomy for ethnic Rakhine people, has been battling government troops for more than a year.

Addressing reporters in Geneva on Friday, UN human rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said Myanmar’s military operations “in populated areas” had resulted “in at least 32 deaths and 71 injuries since March 23, the majority women and children, and they have also been destroying and burning schools and homes.”

He later said that the 32 were civilians.

Colville said it was “very difficult to get precise information from Rakhine”, noting that there had been an internet blackout in the area since June 2019.

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