Artillery shell kills two children, injures one, near Chin capital

A heavy artillery shell killed two young boys and seriously injured a six-year-old girl in a village near the Chin State capital Hakha on Wednesday, according to local sources.

The shell fell on the village of Buanlung, located about 18km southwest of Hakha, as the children were returning home from school, the sources said.

The two boys were identified as Henry Bwai Za Lian, 6, and James Siang Za Uk, 7. The girl, who was identified only as Nancy, was said to be badly injured, but details about her condition were not available at the time of reporting.

Buanlung is one of 32 ethnic Senthang Chin villages in the area that are largely under the control of local resistance forces. A spokesperson for a group representing the communities said that Myanmar’s military was likely responsible for the shelling.

“Most of the heavy artillery shells that land here are fired by the military. It’s normal for them to shoot at random in Hakha Township,” he said.

It was not clear, however, how the shell reached the village.

“They usually fire from three places in Hakha, but this village is a bit beyond the range of those bases, so we are assuming that a drone was used to drop the shell,” said a spokesperson for the Chinland Defence Force (CDF).

He also ruled out the possibility of an airstrike, saying that no military aircraft were spotted near the village at the time of the incident. He added that the attack was unprovoked, as there had been no recent fighting in the area.

According to the CDF, the nearest clashes took place several days ago at a strategically important bridge between Hakha and Thantlang, which lies northwest of Hakha.

In a statement released in late June, UNICEF Myanmar said that a total of 115 children had been killed or injured by explosives since the military seized power in February 2021.

In September, regime forces killed at least seven children and six adults in an attack on a school in Letyetkone, a village in Sagaing Region’s Depayin Township.

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