3 civilians killed and 5 injured by artillery shelling in Myanmar’s Kachin state

Three civilians were killed, including a 12-year-old child, and five others were injured when junta forces fired heavy artillery on a village in Kachin State’s Shwegu township, according to locals and People’s Defense Forces (PDFs).

An older brother of 12-year-old victim Zwel Naing Win told RFA that one of the injured was shot by bullets and the rest of dead and casualties were hit by artillery shells.

“My brother was killed when the battle broke out and my brother-in-law was shot in his arm. He went to Shwegu Hospital for surgery. My brother was hit on his head and back, and died on the spot,” he said, adding that his brother was cremated on Friday.

The two other victims were identified as Thaung Aye, a 35-year-old woman and War Nu, a 40-year-old man.

The injured include a 51-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter, two 30-year-old men and a 40-year-old man, according to residents.

Zin Min Oo, the 40-year-old, was hit by a bullet while closing his shop.

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The injured were all sent to Shwegu Hospital for treatment.

There are over 300 houses and about 1,500 people in Moe Sit village, which was hit by heavy artillery. Residents fled their homes as military council troops entered the village, according to a resident who declined to be named for safety reasons. He said the troops started firing their guns as they entered the village.

“They were shooting to the western part of the village,” said the resident. “Some villagers fled to Shwegu. Some people from the top of the village ran to Pauk Kone [village] and some ran into the fields. [As they ran] a house was set ablaze and flattened by shells.”.

A PDF member, who declined to give his name, said the village was shelled by 60 millimeter mortar bombs fired by troops who then crossed the river to seize Moe Sit.

“When the junta troops were crossing by boat from Kyun Taw village to Moe Sit, they opened fire with heavy artillery and entered from the side of Moe Sit village,” he said.

“We opened fire when the junta boat was in the middle, then mutual shooting erupted. Amid the fighting, the junta forces fired 60mm rounds and those landed in the western part of the village.

They hit the child and his uncle while they were tending to their cow, and the child died.”

State Administration Council spokesman and Social Affairs Minister for Kachin state, Win Ye Tun told RFA he did not know of any incidents involving civilians killed by junta shelling on Thursday.

The Myo Hla PDF said in a statement Friday that the Kha La Ya (78) militia, who are under the military council’s 88th Division, provided the junta with an additional 100 troops. He said four boats carried them across the river to Moe Sit.

Three junta boats were sunk and 27 soldiers were killed during the battle, according to the statement.

RFA has not been able to independently verify the details.

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