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Myanmar junta kills 7-year-old in northern airstrike

A junta airstrike on a village in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region killed a seven-year-old girl, residents told Radio Free Asia Friday.

The Dec. 16 attack on Paungbyin township’s Kha Maing (West) also claimed the life of an adult woman.

Separately on Thursday, a helicopter attack killed 30-year-old Kyaw Soe, and injured five other civilians in Paungbyin’s Tha Yau, according to a local village administrator who wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.

“A monastic school building, a market, the road, the soccer field and a highway station were shot at,” he said.

“It took only 25 minutes, but the helicopter turned around twice and continued firing. People were not aware and were calm because there had been no fighting.

“People are in shock. Women and children are very scared. People didn’t have time to dodge and were shot as soon as they heard the sound of the helicopter.”

The injured are being treated by the humanitarian team of Paungbyin People’s Administration Group, he said.

Destroyed homes in Nyaung Pin Te village, Chaung-U township, Sagaing region, Dec 21, 2023. (Citizen journalist) 

In another attack Thursday, junta troops raided Nyaung Pin Te village in Sagaing’s Chaung-U township, killing a local man and burning nearly 120 houses down – nearly half the homes in the village – residents told RFA.

The body of 55-year-old Zaw Win was found on Thursday evening after troops left the village, according to a villager who didn’t want to be named for safety reasons.

“He was brutally killed. Only half of his head is left,” he said.

“The junta troops burnt the houses in the village for three days. Yesterday … troops torched four places in the village, and took the village rice which was recently harvested at the end of the rainy season.”

Troops took 2,000 baskets of rice and 50 bags of fertilizer from the village and slaughtered 10 cattle, he said.

Locals said the column of around 100 soldiers from Chaung-U abducted about 80 civilians but released them when they returned to base. They said the villagers were used as human shields because troops feared they would be intercepted by People’s Defense Forces along the route.

RFA called the junta’s Sagaing region spokesman Sai Naing Naing Kyaw about the incidents but he said he had no information about them because he had been traveling.

Although many villagers returned after the troops left, around 1,400 residents of Nyaung Pin Te village are too afraid to go home, locals told RFA.

Across Myanmar more than 2.6 million people have fled the fighting according to the United Nations.

Data for Myanmar, an independent research group, announced on Dec 13, that more than 77,000 homes had been burned down since the Feb. 01, 2021 coup.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn and Taejun Kang.