Myanmar Junta Shelling Kills Two Teenage Brothers in Southern Shan State

By NORA 2 March 2023

Two teenage brothers were killed in junta artillery strikes in Pekhon Township, southern Shan State on Tuesday, according to local anti-regime group the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) and a rescue team.

The artillery shells reportedly exploded over a monastery in Khaung Ei Village-tract in Pekhon between 7:20 p.m. and 8.00 p.m.

A volunteer rescue team from Moe Bye confirmed that the deceased were both teenage students.

“When the artillery shells rained over the monastery, a 19-year-old was studying there with his younger brother. I learned that he was preparing to sit the upcoming matriculation exam [when he was killed]. His 15-year-old younger brother also passed away due to the explosion,” a spokeperson from Moe Bye Rescue Team said.

The monastery was also severely damaged by the regime troops’ bombardment.

Regime troops have been targeting communities in Pekhon Township and conducted artillery attacks for two consecutive days, according to local sources.

Two earlier artillery attacks on Monday maimed at least four civilians in Pekhon Township.

Two of those injured were civilians from Khaung Ei, one of them reportedly suffering serious injuries. Details on the conditions of two other injured civilians and damage to structures in west Pekhon Township were still not clear due to communication difficulties.

The KNDF urged communities in Pekhon Township to stay alert, as regime troops have been shelling civilian areas in the township frequently despite not being confronted by local resistance forces.

A local resident in Pekhon said she was worried about her children, as the junta’s artillery attacks frequently target civilian areas.

“I am on high alert all the time. I am really worried about my children. They [the junta army] launch artillery attacks indiscriminately. I am planning to move to a safer place for the sake of my children,” she said.

Last November, indiscriminate junta shelling killed a 5-year-old girl in Demoso Township in eastern Kayah State.

Junta troops have escalated their attacks on civilian targets in the strongholds of resistance forces in Kayah State since late 2022. They conducted over 150 air strikes and artillery bombardments against resistance forces and civilian targets last year, according to the KNDF.

It said the regime killed 293 civilians in Kayah State last year, while another 126 died fleeing their homes.