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38 civilian killed in military action in Myanmar, UN expresses 'shock'

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38 civilian killed in military action in Myanmar, UN expresses shock
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A burned-out vehicle in the aftermath of the alleged military attack in Hpruso township (Image Credit: Reuters)

Naypyidaw: A reported attack by Myanmar military personnel on civilians has killed 38 and has left two of their aid workers missing on Friday according to a statement released by the international charity Save the Children on Saturday. The two staff members were travelling home for the holidays after work when the attack occurred, the statement says.

"We have confirmation that their private vehicle was attacked and burned out. The military reportedly forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed others and burned their bodies," Save the Children said. The attack allegedly took place in the Hpruso township, located in the eastern province of Kayah.

The statement also quoted Inger Ashing, Chief Executive at Save the Children, who said the attack was a breach of International Humanitarian Law.

"We are horrified at the violence carried out against innocent civilians and our staff, who are dedicated humanitarians, supporting millions of children in need across Myanmar. Investigations into the nature of the incident are continuing but attacks against aid workers cannot be tolerated," she stated.

Myanmar military, however, denied any killings of civilians taking place and said that they had carried out the operation to kill terrorists. A spokesman for Myanmar's military said fighting had broken out in Hpruso on Friday after its troops attempted to stop seven cars driving in a "suspicious way", according to AFP. Troops had killed a number of people in the ensuing clash, spokesman Zaw Min Tun told the news agency, without providing any further details.

Mass protests have been taking place across Myanmar since the military coup in February which saw elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party are among hundreds of others detained.

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TAGS:Myanmar Military Deaths 
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