Displaced Children Among Civilians Killed in Myanmar Junta Shell Strike

By Hein Htoo Zan 16 September 2022

Four displaced civilians, including two children, were killed on Friday morning when a Myanmar junta shell hit a temple in Moebye, southern Shan State, according to rescuers.

A junta shell hit the Mwe Taw temple in the town amid ongoing clashes with resistance groups and the Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF), the Moebye Rescue Team said.

Two girls, aged six and 10, were killed.

“The shells were fired where no clashes had taken place to deliberately kill civilians,” said a team member.

The rescue group said at least 3,000 people had been displaced in Moebye. Friday’s shelling would probably increase the numbers leaving their homes although they did not know where safe to go, the group said.

Since clashes re-erupted in Moebye on September 8, at least five people have been killed and more than 20 injured. A seven-year-old was killed when a shell hit Ave Mater Dei Catholic church in Moebye.

Since September 8, the junta has used regular airstrikes and many Moebye residents have taken shelter in religious buildings and schools.

“They know civilians are hiding in churches, monasteries and pagodas but they continue to attack. It is shameful and they will pay for it,” said Khu Re Du, a KNDF spokesman.

About 300 people were sheltering at Mwe Taw temple on Thursday but most had now left amid fears of further fighting, residents said.

Mwe Taw temple after being hit by a junta shell on Friday.

At least 100 houses and religious buildings had been destroyed by the junta.

The Karenni Human Rights Group has reported at least 260 civilian causalities in neighboring Kayah State since the 2021 coup.