Burma

Rohingya Boy Killed as Village Hit by Artillery Shells in Western Myanmar

By Min Aung Khine 11 February 2020

SITTWE, Rakhine State—A Rohingya teenager was killed and four others were injured when several shells hit villages in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township, local residents said, as heavy fighting between the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) and the Arakan Army (AA) continued in the area.

Artillery shells struck Taungbwe Village at around 4 a.m. on Monday, killing a 15-year-old boy and wounding two teenagers, Kalu, a relative of the boy who was killed, told The Irrawaddy.

“The boy suffered a head injury and died while being taken to Sittwe Hospital. So [his body] was brought back to the village,” said Kalu, adding that the two other teens were receiving treatment at Kyauktaw Public Hospital.

Residents of Taungbwe claimed the artillery shells were fired by naval ships sailing upstream on the Kaladan River. Four houses were damaged and a cow was killed in the explosions.

“An artillery shell fell onto my cowshed. As we were sleeping at the time, we’re not exactly sure what happened. But it was the naval vessels from the river that fired the artillery shells,” Kalu told The Irrawaddy.

In two other incidents, a 52-year-old Rohingya woman in Hayar Village and a 25-year-old Arakanese woman in Myauktaung Village were injured by artillery shelling on Monday morning, local residents said.

“This morning, the naval vessels fired while sailing up and down the river. When they fired while sailing upstream, the artillery shells fell on houses. When they fired while sailing downstream, a woman was hit by shrapnel,” Daw Aung Nu of Myauktaung Village told The Irrawaddy.

The injured were also sent to Kyauktaw Public Hospital.

The Irrawaddy was unable to reach military spokesman Brigadier-General Zaw Min Tun or the Tatmadaw’s Western Command spokesman Colonel Win Zaw Oo for comment.

U Maung Maung, a Kyauktaw Township lawmaker in the Rakhine State parliament, said he heard the sounds of continuous firing. “I don’t know why they fired. I only heard the sounds. I heard a number of people were injured by artillery shells. I don’t know the number exactly,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The Myanmar military and the AA have recently engaged in fierce clashes in mountains some 16 kilometers to the northeast of the villages, reportedly resulting in deaths and injuries.

A woman was killed and three men were injured when artillery struck urban wards in Kyauktaw on Feb. 3.

Four civilians were injured when the Myanmar military and the AA clashed near the entrance to Kyauktaw on Dec. 28. A fourth-grade student was killed and a woman was injured in a shooting on Dec. 6.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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