A 30-year-old mother was killed and her mother, husband and 3-year-old daughter seriously injured by regime shelling in Shein Makar village, Wetlet Township, Sagaing Region on Monday, according to residents.
A shell fired by junta troops stationed at the Shein Makar police outpost struck the family’s house at about 7.50 pm, said villagers, who expressed anger over the indiscriminate artillery attack.
The religious festival of Tazaung Mone falls on Tuesday, but residents of Shein Makar shunned the traditional rituals of lighting candles, making food, giving alms and visiting temples over fear of further junta attacks.
“Instead of respecting the Buddhist festival period, they fired a shell into the village without any reason,” said one resident.
Shein Makar is just 24 kilometers southeast of Wetlet, home to the Unesco world heritage site of Hanlin, an ancient Buddhist city.
Despite the shelling, no clashes between junta troops and resistance forces have been reported in the area recently.
Ko Phyo Zaw Oo, a spokesman for Wetlet People’s Defense Force (PDF), confirmed the artillery attack but said the PDF was not fighting regime forces in the area.
“They are shelling villages without facing encounters against us. We have been avoiding them for over a week after they deployed more troops. I am speechless over this inhumane act,” he said of the artillery attack on civilians.
On Tuesday, junta soldiers deployed at Shein Makar also torched houses in nearby Padauk Choung village, forcing hundreds of residents to flee, said locals. Meanwhile, two regime fighter-jets were spotted in the east of Wetlet Township.
Junta forces began attacking villages in eastern Wetlet Township in October and have killed at least 12 civilians and 20 residents. Thousands of villagers in the area have fled their homes.