– Myanmar acknowledged that its air force was responsible for a bomb that killed at least five farmers in Chinese territory in an official apology over the incident made by Foreign Minister and special presidential envoy Wunna Maung Lwin.
Myanmar is willing to work with China on compensation claims and wants to send “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the victims, he told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, according to a statement released on the website of China’s Foreign Ministry.
Wang called on Myanmar to handle the issue seriously and safeguard peace and order in the border region between the two countries.
The March 13 bombing came amid an escalating conflict between Myanmar’s government and rebels from the Kokang minority, made up of ethnic Chinese people in the Southeast Asian nation’s northern Shan State. Myanmar’s government has accused some rebels of taking refuge across the border and called for Beijing to arrest and return them.
The victims were working in a sugar-cane field when the bomb was dropped. The Myanmar government previously said its air force had never entered Chinese territory and an “ethnic group” was responsible for the killings.
Chinese fighter jets stepped up patrols of the border after the bombing.
— With assistance by Keith Zhai