In the civil conflict airstrikes have emerged as a devastating new strategy.
When someone yelled that an approaching aircraft was heading their way, Zin Nwe Phyo and her students had just arrived at the school and were settling in with their professors.
As rockets and ammo impacted the school, they started running for cover while screaming for aid.
One instructor who had been in a classroom when the air attacks started said, “We didn’t know what to do. I initially only heard the sound of bombs and bullets hitting the school grounds, not the helicopter’s roar.
According to another instructor, after being struck by the weapons inside the main school building, the students started running outside in an effort to hide. She was able to hide behind a large tamarind tree with the help of her class.
Due to their menacing look and armoured defences, two Russian-built Mi-35 helicopter gunships have earned.
It is difficult to determine how many people have perished in these airstrikes because much of Myanmar is still inaccessible, rendering the full toll of the fighting mostly invisible to the outside world. The BBC conducted a series of phone interviews with communities, families, and eyewitnesses to learn more about how the attack on the school played out.
According to witnesses, the shooting went on for around 30 minutes, knocking pieces out of the walls and roofs.
Three kids were found deceased inside the school’s main building. Zin Nwe Phyo was among them. Another was Su Yati Hlaing, a seven-year-old who was raised by her grandmother together with her older sister. Like so many others in their area, their parents had left for Thailand in search of employment. Others suffered terrible injuries, some with limb loss. One of them, Phone Tay Za, who was also seven years old, was sobbing in agony.
This nation has a protracted internal conflict. Since the country’s independence in 1948, the Burmese military has been battling a number of insurgency organisations. However, these battles were low-tech affairs, with the majority of the fighting taking place between ground troops in disputed border areas. They frequently resembled trench combat from a century earlier in only minor ways.