Large Scale War Crime: Myanmar military uses vacuum bomb
May 10, 2023

Myanmar’s military has once again come under fire for its brutal tactics against opponents, with a new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) revealing the use of a thermobaric vacuum bomb in a village in Sagaing.

Last month, the military in Myanmar utilized a weapon known as a fuel-air explosive during an air attack. The munition is described as an “enhanced blast” weapon which resulted in the deaths of over 160 individuals, including numerous children, who were attending a gathering arranged by their opponents.

The use of thermobaric vacuum bombs is particularly concerning, as they release a cloud of explosive particles that can cause severe burns, internal injuries, and asphyxiation. In addition, the vacuum effect created by the bomb can cause buildings and other structures to collapse, leading to further casualties and destruction.

The use of this weapon is a clear violation of international humanitarian law, as it can cause immense harm to civilians and non-combatants. This shocking revelation marks a new low in the military’s campaign of violence against its own citizens and highlights the urgent need for international action to prevent further atrocities.

Eyewitnesses reported a large explosion and subsequent destruction of buildings in the area, as well as numerous casualties among both civilians and members of armed groups.

HRW has called for an immediate investigation into the use of this weapon, and for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions. The report also highlights the urgent need for international pressure to be brought to bear on the military junta, in order to prevent further atrocities against the civilian population.

“The Myanmar military’s use of a weapon designed to cause maximum deaths on an area crowded with civilians shows flagrant disregard for human life,” said Asia director at HRW. “Foreign governments need to cut off the junta’s funding, arms and jet fuel to deter further atrocities.”

The military junta has been widely condemned for its brutal crackdown on protesters and opposition groups, as well as its widespread human rights abuses. The use of a thermobaric vacuum bomb is just the latest example of the military’s willingness to use extreme and indiscriminate force against its own people.

The international community must act swiftly and decisively to condemn these actions and hold those responsible accountable. The people of Myanmar deserve nothing less than our full support in their struggle for democracy and human rights.

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