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Junta chief praises Myanmar army artillery unit

by Afonso
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General Min Aung Hlaing, the head of the country’s military junta, praised the army’s artillery units accused of attacking civilians in Myanmar. He praised this at the 75th anniversary of the artillery unit on Saturday. Artillery forces have committed numerous ‘war crimes’ since the coup in Myanmar.

According to a report in the Irrawaddy media, a ceremony was organized in Naypyidaw to mark the 75th anniversary of the artillery unit. In it, Min Aung Hlaing said, “He is proud that the army’s artillery units have been able to carry out their duty to hit the target with ‘absolute precision’ when required.”

The junta chief added, ‘Myanmar army’s artillery unit will keep pace with its international counterparts as modern artillery.’

Meanwhile, two civilians, including a child, were killed in separate artillery strikes in Shwebo township in Myanmar’s Sagaing region on the same day the junta chief made these comments.

According to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), 434 civilians were killed nationwide between September 2023 and the start of the coup in 2021. Among them, 138 people were killed in Myanmar’s Sagaing region. At the same time, this region is the most affected.

According to a report by AAPP, a total of 206 people were killed by the junta last month, of which 69 were killed in artillery attacks.

A coalition of Myanmar’s ethnic armed rebel groups conducted “Operation 1027,” an offensive against the junta in northern Shan State and Rakhine State. They said last December 3, after the start of “Operation 1027” from October 27 to December 2, about 150 of their members were killed in air and artillery attacks. Arguably, the Myanmar Army’s artillery units have no less blood on their hands than the Air Force. This army unit is responsible for countless civilian casualties and extensive damage to civilian property.

Civilian casualties are believed to be higher. Because the government has since increased air and artillery attacks; Especially in Rakhine State. Because the Chinese-brokered ceasefire has led to less conflict in Northern Shan State.

At a ceremony on Saturday, Min Aung Hlaing said the army’s artillery units had “performed brilliantly” in suppressing the insurgents. However, he did not mention the fact that artillery units carried out deliberate and unprovoked attacks on civilian targets not only to instill fear in the civilian population, but also to deter counter-attacks or in retaliation.

“He is equipping army units with modern artillery, ammunition and equipment,” Min Aung Hlaing said, to ensure they are comparable to their counterparts around the world. He also mentioned that artillery soldiers are being sent to study abroad.

Despite his claims, the junta chief has lamented at least three times that his high-tech troops have fallen at the hands of ethnic armed rebel groups in northern Shan State. In Operation 1027 and subsequent anti-regime operations, the junta lost a shipment of weapons including howitzers.

In the three years since the coup, the junta forces have lost more than 30 towns to the resistance of the rebels. During this period, Min Aung Hlaing was forced to extend the state of emergency five times.


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