Five Rakhine Civilian Deaths Blamed on Myanmar’s Military

By Min Aung Khine 3 April 2020

Sittwe, Rakhine State — Five civilians were killed and at least seven others injured in an alleged attack by Myanmar’s military in Kyauktaw Township in Rakhine State on Wednesday.

“Five were killed and seven were injured in the shooting incident. I heard more were injured. Three houses in the ward on the outskirts of Kyauktaw were completely destroyed,” Lower House lawmaker U Oo Tun Win of Kyauktaw Township told The Irrawaddy.

“The shooting was heavy. We hid under our house and it was difficult to see what was happening. We heard gunshots from every direction,” added U Oo Tun Win.

The dead were reportedly aged between 14 and 70.

Ethnic Daingnet Ma Moe Moe Nwe, 14, was seriously injured and sent to Sittwe Hospital.

“Tatmadaw [military] soldiers who came in trucks from Thayet Oak village fired continuously. We didn’t have time to reach the bomb shelters. My niece was hit as she ran,” Daw Ma Yay told The Irrawaddy.

Ma Moe Moe Nwe’s parents died when she was young and she lived with her aunt.

Among the five victims were a mother and daughter from the village of Peinnechaung on the opposite riverbank from Kyauktaw. Villagers said the two were killed by shells fired from the Kaladan River.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun told The Irrawaddy that the Tatmadaw returned fire after the Arakan Army (AA) fired artillery and bullets from Kyauktaw at two naval vessels docked on the opposite bank of the Kaladan.

The government has recently declared the AA to be a terrorist organization.

On Feb. 3, a woman died and three men were injured in Kyauktaw by artillery. Four civilians were injured in the town in fighting with the AA on Dec. 28 last year.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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