The report provides a more detailed account of a Myanmar junta helicopter attack on a school that left at least six children dead

A report from a Myanmar human rights group claims to shed new light on an air strike and attack on a school and Buddhist monastery earlier this year that left at least 11 people dead, including six children.

Warning: This story contains descriptions of graphic violence that may distress some readers.

The junta has acknowledged that two army helicopters shot at a school in the village of Let Yet Kone in the Tabayin township in the central Sagaing region in September.

It said rebels were using the targeted building to attack its forces and as a base through which weapons were being moved.

However, new information — gathered during the weeks following the attack and published today by Myanmar Witness, which collects and verifies evidence of human rights incidents in Myanmar — has provided a more detailed account of the incident.

According to Myanmar Witness, the school, which had more than 240 pupils and was housed in a monastery building, was attacked in the afternoon of September 16 by junta forces that arrived in four, Russian-made helicopters.

While about 80 junta soldiers raided the village, two Mi-35 attack helicopters fired Soviet-developed S-5 ground attack rockets at the school.

Front of a school that has been attacked in Myanmar
The attack on the school lasted for about an hour.(Reuters)

Initial reports suggested that six children had been killed and 17 wounded.

In its new report, Myanmar Witness said at least 13 people were killed.

It confirmed that at least six of the dead were children from the school, but, as well, there are claims that a seventh child was killed.

Also killed in the attack were seven villagers aged from 13 to 49 years, along with volunteer teachers.

A building with two large holes just under its awnings.
Buildings in Let Yet Kone village were damaged during the air strikes.(Supplied: Myanmar Witness)

“Locals’ depiction of events tell of a stark and bloody aftermath, with many people reported injured, some severely, with limbs lost,” Myanmar Witness said.

“Debris from shelling and the air strike left casings, including the verified remnants of claimed S-5 rockets.”

Metal pieces of various sizes and shapes are laid out across a bamboo mat.
Myanmar Witness says S-5 rocket remnants were found in Let Yet Kone.(Supplied: Myanmar Witness)

Only junta forces have the aircraft suitable for S-5 rocket use, according to Myanmar Witness.

After the attack, which lasted about an hour, junta forces took away between 15 and 20 people and also removed the corpses of the child victims, the investigation found.

“Their bodies were either buried or cremated seven miles away in Ye-U township, presumably to destroy evidence of child casualties,” Myanmar Witness said.

“This shows a lack of care and the attempt to rid the scene of potential evidence of the crimes. This has prevented families from holding funerals.

“Reports state that the injured were treated at the nearby Ye-U hospital and some of the injured reportedly lost limbs.”

Myanmar Witness says it has the largest database of verified evidence related to human rights incidents in Myanmar, and used interviews with people on the ground in its report The Tabayin School Attack: How children were killed while they were learning.

The ABC has not been able to independently verify the claims.

Junta accuses armed opponents of using human shields

A group of soldiers carrying bayonets while wearing maroon berets
The military returned to power in Myanmar early last year.(Reuters: Ann Wang)

The military issued a statement as initial details of the attack emerged, blaming opposition movements.

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