Save the Children has confirmed that two of its staffers have been killed in a Christmas Eve massacre conducted by Myanmar’s military and killed at least 35 people, including women and children.
The massacre occurred on a highway in Kayah state, in eastern Myanmar, where prodemocracy rebels have been confronting the military.
“The military forced people from their cars, arrested some, killed many and burnt the bodies,” Save the Children stated.
Responding to the attack they told reporters:
“We are shaken by the violence carried out against civilians and our staff, who are dedicated humanitarians, supporting millions of children in need across Myanmar.”
They further added that the two staffers killed were new fathers.
Reports indicate that since Myanmar’s military coup in February, over 1,300 people have been killed.
Save the Children, which has an estimated 900 staff in Myanmar, has since suspended operations in Kayah state and several other regions.
UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, Martin Griffiths, has responded to the massacre expressing his horror and demanding the government of Myanmar launch an investigation.
In October, Save the Children reported that its office in the western town of Thantlang was destroyed in junta shelling that also razed dozens of homes after clashes with a local anti-junta group.
Earlier this month Human Rights Watch responded to a seperate massacre stating:
The latest killings show Myanmar’s military is escalating its campaign of terror. Without urgent and coordinated international efforts to halt military abuses, more atrocities can be expected in the year ahead.
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