Two Killed, Seven Injured as Artillery Shell Strikes Ferry in Chin State, Myanmar

By Min Aung Khine 11 December 2019

SITTWE, Rakhine State—Two civilians including a toddler were killed and seven others were injured when an artillery shell hit a passenger vessel sailing in the Kaladan River in Chin State’s Paletwa Township on Tuesday morning.

The vessel was en route from Paletwa to Taungpyo with 18 passengers on board when it was hit by an artillery shell near the village of Noune Bu.

A 3-year-old boy and a 50-year-old woman were killed, according to local residents.

“There was a village called Noune Bu between Paletwa and Taungpyo. I think there was a clash between the AA [Arakan Army] and the Myanmar military there. Passengers said they don’t know which side fired the artillery shell that hit the deck, killing two people and injuring seven,” Chin State Minister of Municipal Affairs, Electricity and Industry U Soe Htet told The Irrawaddy.

Local residents say there is a military checkpoint near Noune Bu.

The parents of the 3-year-old victim were on board and were also seriously injured. The ethnic Rakhine couple had been working at the education department in Paletwa Township, according to Paletwa resident Ko Bu Htan Paing, but was traveling to Taungpyo as they had been transferred to the education department there.

“We went to the hospital yesterday and saw five of the seven injured people at the hospital. The boy was killed on the spot and his parents were seriously injured. I heard officials from Kyauktaw Township Education Department will bring them to Sittwe Township Hospital this morning,” he said.

Between 4,000 and 6,000 local residents have fled from their homes to urban areas of Paletwa and some villages along the Kaladan River due to increased military tensions between the Myanmar military and the AA, minister U Soe Htet told The Irrawaddy.

On Wednesday, the two sides clashed heavily in Minbya Township, Rakhine State and some local residents of Kalamataung Village were injured by artillery shells.

It has been more than one year since clashes broke out between the two in November 2018.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko