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Junta fires at Myanmar monastery, killing 3 children

Junta artillery shelling killed five civilians, including three children, in central Myanmar, according to residents. 

Troops stationed in Magway region’s Pakokku township approached two nearby villages and fired heavy weapons at them on Sunday. The bullets hit a monastery in Kan Yat Gyi village, injuring five internally displaced people. 

The troops were stationed about three miles away from the villages, said a resident, who declined to be named for security reasons.

“In Kan Yat Gyi, shells fell into a monastery. Two novice [monks] died on the spot,” they told Radio Free Asia. Both novice monks were 10 years old. 

“Shells fell on a house in Kin village around 11:30 in the morning. The villagers were having lunch at the time. They died soon after. One of them died on the road when she was being taken back to the village from the hospital.”

Three Kin village locals, 32-year-old Soe Tint Oo and his six-year-old daughter Thet Htar Nwe, as well as 56-year-old Aye Sint, also died in the attack.

Junta troops stationed in Pakokku township are also firing at Myaing township’s villages every day with 80-millimeter weapons, despite there being no clashes with People’s Defense Forces for the last three months, residents added.

The unpredictable attacks have forced hundreds of residents from Kin village and two others nearby to flee, locals told RFA. Constant attacks are likely meant to discourage resistance groups from entering the area. 

RFA’s calls to Magway region’s junta spokesperson Than Swe Win went unanswered.

Junta soldiers have killed over 4,000 civilians since the regime seized power in February’s 2021 coup, according to independent monitoring group, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.