Blast kills two children in Buthidaung township

An explosion in the northern Rakhine township of Buthidaung killed at least two children and injured six Tuesday morning, a local lawmaker told Myanmar Now.

Seven boys under the age of 12 and a 30-year-old man arrived at the township hospital around noon Tuesday; two of the boys were pronounced dead on arrival, Tun Aung Thein, Rakhine state parliamentarian for Buthidaung township, said.

One of the young victims arrives at Buthidaung hospital around noon on Tuesday, 8 January 2020. (Photo: Kaung Myat Naing/ Maungdaw)

The dead include an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old.

The 30-year-old man and two of the boys have been transferred to Maungdaw hospital due to the severity of their injuries.

“We don’t know the details yet, but we know they were on their way up the mountain near the village when hit by a landmine explosion,” Tun Aung Thein said.

Myanmar Now could not confirm if the blast was a landmine or artillery.

The victims are from Htate Tu Pauk village, a majority Muslim village about eight miles southeast of central Buthidaung that has been the target of artillery shelling in the past.

Muslim villages in the township have often been hit amid fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA).

Last year, Muslim villagers were killed while harvesting bamboo at a nearby stream when the Tatmadaw mistook them for AA soldiers and opened fire on them from a helicopter.

“Those who have been transferred to Maungdaw hospital in critical condition had injuries to their abdomen, head and spine. The rest of the victims only have minor injuries on their hands and legs,” Dr Saw Min Thein, head of the Buthidaung township hospital, told Myanmar Now.

In addition to heavy artillery and military helicopters, the Tatmadaw has deployed fighter jets and, more recently, unmanned combat drones in the conflict, the AA has claimed.

The use of drones is still in question; if true, it would be the first clash with an armed group in which the Myanmar military has used combat drones.

Related Articles

Back to top button