Burma

Two Muslim Children Killed, One Hurt in Mine Blast in Myanmar’s Rakhine State

By Min Aung Khine 14 May 2020

SITTWE, Rakhine State—Two Rohingya children were killed and another was wounded in a landmine explosion on Tuesday in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung Township.

An 11-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl from Ywa Che Village died in the incident and an 8-year-old girl from Phone Nyo Leik Village was injured, according to their relatives.

“The children went to Thayetpyin Village to collect firewood, and some other children joined them to pluck mangoes. I rushed over there when I heard the mine explosion, and found the children dead and injured,” Arsu, mother of the 11-year-old victim, told The Irrawaddy.

Only a road separates Thayetpyin, a Rakhine-majority village, and Ywa Che. Both villages have been deserted since many houses were destroyed in a fire following an armed clash between the Myanmar military (or Tatmadaw) and the Arakan Army (AA) some five months ago.

Residents of Thayetpyin abandoned the village and fled to various places, while Ywa Che residents also abandoned their homes, fleeing to Sha Ke Village near Phone Nyo Leik, according to residents of the area.

“We moved to Sha Ke after our home was destroyed in the fire. Thayetpyin Village is also no longer inhabited. I found Tatmadaw soldiers on Thayetpyin Bridge when I went to see the children. They said nothing. He was my only child,” Arsu said.

According to local residents, Myanmar military troops have been stationed on the bridge near Thayetpyin Village since the clash with the AA.

“Two children died, and one was seriously injured in the explosion. I don’t know how the explosion happened,” Rafiq, an administrator of Phone Nyo Leik Village, told The Irrawaddy.

The girl from Phone Nyo Leik had to be transferred to Maungdaw Hospital from Buthidaung Hospital due to the serious nature of her injuries.

The blast follows an incident on Monday in which five Muslim villagers were injured when artillery shells hit their villages in Kyauktaw Township.

In January, four Rohingya residents of Hteik Htoo Pauk Village in Buthidaung died and six were injured in mine explosions.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko

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