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

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

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

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

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

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Among the injured are a 51-year-old woman and her 13-year-old daughter, two 30-year-old men and a 40-year-old man, residents said.

Zin Min Oo, the 40-year-old, was hit by a bullet as he closed his shop.

The injured were all taken to Shwegu Hospital for treatment.

There are more than 300 houses and about 1,500 people in the village of Moe Sit, 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 security reasons. He said the troops started firing their rifles as they entered the village.

“They fired at the western part of the village,” the resident said. “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 on fire and flattened by grenades.”

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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 take Moe Sit.

“When the junta troops crossed from Kyun Taw village to Moe Sit by boat, 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, after which there was mutual firing. In the midst of the fighting, the junta forces fired 60mm shells, which landed in the western part of the village.

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They beat the child and his uncle while caring for their cow, and the child died.”

State Council spokesman and Kachin State Social Affairs Minister Win Ye Tun told RFA he was not aware of any incidents in which civilians were killed by shelling from the junta on Thursday.

The Myo Hla PDF said in a statement Friday that the Kha La Ya (78) militia, which is under 88e Division, supplied the junta with another 100 troops. He said four boats took them across the river to Moe Sit.

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

RFA has not been able to independently verify the details.

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