A Myanmar military jet fighter returned to bomb Pazi Gyi village in Kantbalu Township, Sagaing Region, nine days after the aerial massacre that killed more than 170 civilians there.
The military jet fighter bombed the village three times on Thursday afternoon, setting houses alight, said residents. About 200 regime ground troops also continued to attack the village from the forest and a nearby village throughout the day using artillery and heavy weapons, according to a villager.
“Some houses were razed by the airstrike but we haven’t dared enter the village yet. Besides, they are shelling the village from four sides, day and night,” a Pazi Gyi villager told The Irrawaddy.
On April 11, a Myanmar military jet fighter dropped bombs on Pazi Gyi village as around 200 civilians gathered for a housewarming ceremony, causing carnage. Ten minutes after the bombs fell, an Mi-35 combat helicopter sprayed the area with gunfire. In the evening, a military jet fighter conducted another air strike while locals were still collecting the bodies from the morning attack.
As of Wednesday, 175 civilian residents – 100 men, 33 women and 42 children – were known to have died in the airstrike with another 30 injured, according to volunteers helping Pazi Gyi villagers.
Regime troops stationed in the village monastery raided the Pazi Gyi a few days after the aerial massacre.
A volunteer in the village said regime troops were shelling nearby villages every day. On Friday morning, they opened fire on Htan Taw village, located 8 kilometres from Pazi Gyi, but no casualties were reported.
“The troops are still in Pazi Gyi and they are finding villagers who are hiding in the forest,” a volunteer told The Irrawaddy, adding that fear levels are high over the constant threat of airstrikes and attacks by ground troops.
Thousands of residents of Pazi Gyi and 10 nearby villages have been forced to flee their homes. A Pazi Gyi villager said that they are traumatized and scared there will be another airstrike.
“All the villagers are afraid when they hear the sound of jet fighters,” a Pazi Gyi resident said.