The Facts

  • New reports have put the death toll from a military air raid in Myanmar's northern Kachin state at 80, with around 100 wounded. According to Colonel Naw Bu of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), "two Myanmar military jets attacked” a celebratory event held by the prominent ethnic rebel group on Sunday night.

  • Rebel ethnic-minority resistance has increased since the military coup last year, with this attack reportedly targeting a concert celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the formation of the Kachin army's fight for autonomy. It appears to be the worst air raid since Myanmar’s military seized power.

The Spin

Narrative A

This attack is but the latest in a series of indiscriminate bombings against civilian populations and more evidence of the government's complete disregard for human lives and international law. The perpetrators must be held to account.

Narrative B

While the loss of lives is tragic, KIA has been engaged in militant operations against the Myanmar government for decades and carried out countless terrorist attacks. Sunday's operation — inflated by the media — was a necessary step to counter one of the most potent and dangerous rebel groups.

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