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Myanmar state run media rejects evidence of deadly airstrikes in Tamu township

Routes according to the reports from two Telegram channels via Myanmar Witness report

On 7 January 2024, claims circulated online that the Myanmar Air Force (MAF) carried out airstrikes on Ka Nan village, Tamu township, Sagaing region. One report suggested that the strike targeted a party in Ka Nan village following a People’s Defence Force (PDF) military training ceremony. This claim has not been independently verified.

Myanmar Now and Khit Thit Media claimed that these airstrikes killed at least 17 people and injured at least 19 people, including women and children. It targeted civilian infrastructure such as schools, churches and homes. 

In a broadcast released on 7 January 2024, Myanmar’s state-run news outlet, MRTV, denied that airstrikes took place, claiming that the reports were ‘fake news’, misinformation and anti-government ‘propaganda’. The broadcast made the following claims (translated by Myanmar Witness): 

“A fake news is spreading that 11 people, including two children, died due to the bombing of the Christian church in Ward No. 5 of Kanan Village, Khampat town, Tamu township, Sagaing Region, by terrorist-inciting, subversive media are being written and distributed. Regarding the news, we got a statement from an official from the relevant area. We learned that there were no flights this morning. The bombardment by the army is just a misinformation.

It is said that the subversive media outlets are writing and distributing fake news on a timely basis and are carrying out propaganda activities to destroy regional peace and stability.”

In this report, Myanmar Witness has verified several pieces of UGC and cross-referenced claims, in order to assess the following three claims made by MRTV:

  • The church in Ka Nan village was not hit by an airstrike.

  • Claims that eleven people, including two children, died as a result of the airstrike are false.

  • No aircraft flew over the area on the morning of 7 January. 

Myanmar Witness believes that it is highly likely that an airstrike took place, with a number of civilian casualties. It is also highly likely that a Q-5 ground attack jet, currently only in use by the MAF, was used during the attack.

Read the full report here.

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