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Shelling kills 3, including a child, in Myanmar’s Mandalay region

Heavy weaponry in central Myanmar killed three civilians, residents told Radio Free Asia on Thursday.

Junta troops fired a shell at Mandalay division’s Tha Hpan Kaing village on Wednesday night, killing two women and a child, locals said. The victims are eight-year-old Su Su Nway, 17-year-old Nadi Hlaing, and 45-year-old Ma Nwe, all from Tha Hpan Kaing village. 

Two people were also injured, including Ma Nwe’s son, one resident said, asking to remain anonymous for security reasons. Six-year-old Htet Pyae Sone Chit and 31-year-old Aye Min Thu are being treated for their injuries. 

“The injured six-year-old boy is the son of the dead woman, Ma Nwe. And all the people who were hit by the heavy artillery are relatives,” he told RFA Burmese on Dec. 14. “The military junta deliberately shot into the village, rather than indiscriminately shooting. Lately, Madaya township has been experiencing daily attacks with heavy weaponry.”

Ten soldiers entered Madaya township from neighboring Patheingyi township on a truck and fired 120 millimeter shells at Tha Hpan Kaing village, he added. Troops shot from roughly 10 kilometers (six miles) away in Kyauk Ta Dar village around 8 p.m. on Wednesday.

Calls by RFA to Mandalay’s junta spokesperson Thein Htay to learn more about the attack went unanswered on Thursday. 

Tha Hpan Kaing village is a large village in the region, with 500 houses, residents said, adding that it’s 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Mandalay’s Madaya city.

Troops also fired weaponry from Kyauk Ta Dar village at other villages in the area before Wednesday’s attack, locals said. On Tuesday, a two-hour battle erupted between junta troops and joint defense forces near Kyauk Ta Dar village. Following the battle, junta soldiers fired heavy weapons toward the War Lone Pyun village, but there were no reported injuries, residents told RFA Burmese.

The fighting between the junta and local People’s Defense Forces has intensified since November in Madaya township, residents and People’s Defense Force members said.

As fighting escalates, so have junta raids on nearby villages. Soldiers are using helicopters to fire shells at villages where they believe resistance groups may be sheltering, according to locals.

Data compiled by RFA show attacks on villages in Madaya township have killed 17 locals and injured three in November alone. From Jan. 2022 to Sept. 2023, RFA found that 816 civilians have died and 1,628 were injured by heavy weapons and airstrikes across the country. 

Edited by Taejun Kang.