(Bangkok) The airstrike carried out on Tuesday by Burmese government forces in the Sagaing region in the center of the country, left at least 130 dead according to new estimates, and was “ strongly condemned ” Thursday by ASEAN.

The authorities have not yet given any assessment of this attack.

Interviewed by AFP on Thursday on condition of anonymity, a villager participating in the rescue said he had counted and identified 130 bodies. Human remains littered the affected area around the village of Pazi Gyi, sometimes making identification difficult, he said.

“ We are using old tires to cremate the bodies ”, explained the witness to AFP. According to him, there are still 28 missing.

Several media, the BBC in Burmese, The Irrawady and Radio Free Asia, also mentioned the figure of 130 dead, while the United Nations speaks of at least a hundred dead.

CNN meanwhile speaks of more than 160 dead, citing a figure given by a former deputy now exiled.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said on Wednesday he was “horrified” by this attack carried out in “flagrant disregard for the rules of international law. »

“It seems that children dancing, along with other civilians, during the opening ceremony of a center in Pazi Gyi village, Kanbalu district, are among the victims,” ​​Türk said. in a press release.

The ruling junta acknowledged, overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, “ that there could be people wearing civilian clothes ”, without mentioning a balance sheet, through its spokesperson, Zaw Min Tun.

But the army insisted it was targeting a gathering of armed opponents-the opening of an office of the People’s Defense Forces (PDF), which it calls “terrorists”. Some of the dead were uniformed anti-coup fighters, the representative said.

“According to the information we have obtained on the ground, those killed are not solely because of our attack. There were mines planted by the PDF around this area,” said junta spokesman Zaw Min Tun.

On Thursday, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), criticized for its inaction on the crisis in Burma, “strongly condemned” the deadly air attacks, according to a press release published by Indonesia, which presides organization this year.

“Any form of violence must cease immediately, in particular the use of force against civilians,” the statement added.

A statement issued by the President of the Association does not necessarily mean that all its members agree. Burma is itself still a member of ASEAN, even though the president of the junta has been refused to attend the summits.

Myanmar’s junta overthrew the civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021, cracking down on opponents and armed groups in operations that left more than 3,200 people dead, according to a local human rights watchdog.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Burmese military has carried out a total of 689 attacks by aircraft or drones since the coup.