Myanmar’s junta is increasingly targeting health clinics in resistance strongholds, according to the civilian National Unity Government’s (NUG) health ministry.
It said at least 70 medical staff had been killed and 836 had been detained by the junta by late February.
The junta targets medics who joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM) by refusing to work under military rule with killings, arrests and lawsuits since the 2021 coup.
Striking medics are blacklisted and banned from working at private hospitals with troops conducting regular searches.
The health ministry reported that by February 28 at least 188 raids and attacks on hospitals and clinics in conflict-torn areas.
At least 59 ambulances were seized and 49 destroyed by junta troops, it said.
During April at least four clinics were targeted in junta airstrikes in Sagaing and Magwe region and Kayah and Kachin states, according to the shadow ministry.
A Japanese-funded hospital in Myaing Township, Magwe Region, was destroyed in an April 18 airstrike.
The hospital mainly provided maternity care to several townships, according to a Magyi Kan villager.
“The hospital had been running for about eight months. Around 670 babies were delivered there. We bought an X-ray machine with public donations. The hospital received no donations or assistance from the NUG,” he said.
The sick now face long journeys to receive care, the villager added.
“They targeted the main building out of six which held the important devices. They destroyed the X-ray machine. It is a tremendous loss,” he said.
In Kayah State, Ko Benya, spokesman for the Karenni Human Rights Group, said medical clinics are regularly targeted.
“They deliberately attack medical workers and destroy clinics and hospitals. It is not coincidental,” he said.
A hospital in Demoso Township was recently destroyed by junta airstrikes. Two medical staff were killed on the border of Pekon and Pinlaung townships.
A school being used as a clinic in eastern Demoso Township was attacked by fighter jets in March.
A resistance fighter in Shwegu Township said fighter jets deliberately destroyed a hospital in Si Thar village on April 5.
“The hospital had been vacant since the coup. No one was there but maybe they were stopping resistance groups using it in the future,” he said.
The ministry said the attacks break the Geneva Conventions, resolutions by the UN Security Council and international humanitarian and human rights laws.
The ministry called for international action to stop the attacks.