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Artillery hits children playing, killing girl in western Myanmar

Heavy shelling killed a child and injured five others in western Myanmar, locals told Radio Free Asia on Monday. 

An artillery blast landed in a home in Rakhine state’s Minbya township on Sunday night where five children were playing together. A thirteen-year-old named Sabel died as a result. Four other children were injured, along with a woman who was in the house, Minbya residents said. 

Sabel died instantly, and the injured victims were sent to the hospital, said a resident of Okkar Pyan neighborhood, where the attack occurred. 

“A heavy weapon dropped on Soe Tint’s house. His daughter was hit in the head and died on the spot,” he told RFA, asking to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. “Children playing together were also injured, and were sent to the hospital as an emergency case.”

Locals claimed the shelling was done by the junta’s Minbya-based battalion 380, but RFA has not been able to independently verify this. 

Attacks in Minbya city and surrounding villages have resulted in a total of one death and eight injuries on Sunday, according to the Three Brotherhood Alliance’s statement.The alliance is composed of four ethnic armed resistance groups, including the Arakan Army. 

In addition to one death and five injuries in Minbya, a drone attack by junta forces injured a 12-year-old child and damaged a house in Sittwe township’s War Bo village on Sunday, the statement said. Two heavy explosives dropped by the junta in Ponnagyun township’s Pa Day Thar village destroyed houses and injured residents the same day, it added.

RFA called Rakhine state’s junta spokesperson Hla Thein to learn more about civilian casualties, but he did not respond by the time of publication. 

Since fighting resumed in Rakhine state on Nov. 13, clashes and attacks have killed 19 civilians and injured 60 others, according to data compiled by RFA. 

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.