Two Civilians Killed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State During Alleged Military Airstrike

By Min Aung Khine 1 April 2020

Sittwe, Rakhine State — Two villagers were killed on Monday in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township in an alleged air raid that Myanmar’s military denied.

Maung Nyi Myint Lwin, 16 of Maylun village, and U Maung Tun Sein, 51 of Chaungnet village, died in bombing raids carried out by Myanmar’s military, said the victims’ relatives.

“My son and I were taking a bath at the back of the house. Five helicopters dropped bombs on the mountains near our village. As we ran for the house, a bomb killed my son. His mother was injured. And I was also injured in my leg,” said U Aung Kyaw Sein, the father of Maung Nyi Myint Lwin.

Their house and belongings were destroyed by the bomb, he added.

Shrapnel found at the scene. / Chin University Students in Rakhine State / Facebook

In nearby Chaungnet, which is majority ethnically Chin, U Maung Tun Sein, died after being hit by shrapnel in his waist. Some houses were damaged, villagers said.

“We were hiding in a bomb shelter. There were five helicopters. They fired shots at mountains near our village. The shells landed on our village. A villager was hit by shrapnel and died,” Chaungnet villager Ko Me Toke told The Irrawaddy.

Villagers said they did not know why the air attacks were carried out as there was no fighting near the villages on Monday.

Rakhine State lawmaker U Hla Aung Thein of Minbya Township said he was told that the villagers were killed when five helicopters flew overhead.

Military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun denied the claims.

A house damaged by shrapnel. Chin University Students In Rakhine State / Facebook

“It is just propaganda by hardcore AA [Arakan Army] supporters. On Monday, there was only a clash between Paletwa and Meewa Hill in the whole of Rakhine State. It was quite far from those villages,” he told The Irrawaddy.

The AA did not report the incident on Monday.

The Irrawaddy is no longer able to contact the AA since it was declared a terrorist organization and anyone in contact with it faces prosecution under Counterterrorism Law.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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