When news first emerged that on Sept. 16 Myanmar’s military had massacred children inside a school in an area dominated by anti-junta rebel forces, the government denied it.
Officials initially claimed that the operation aimed to clear “terrorists,” and that no children had been killed. Later, as the death toll mounted, with some 11 children reported dead and evidence of the attack on the village of Let Yet Kone becoming overwhelming, the military acknowledged it had struck the school. But it said the soldiers who did so were chasing insurgents hiding in the building, something teachers and local leaders strongly deny.
The Let Yet Kone massacre is the largest killing of children in a single incident since the February 2021 coup that restored rule by the Tatmadaw, Myanmar’s military, triggering first a massive peaceful uprising and then an armed rebellion that looks more like a civil war every day.