Boy wounded by junta soldiers shot dead on the way to hospital

A 14-year-old boy who was wounded when soldiers opened fire in his village in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township on Tuesday was later killed as his family tried to get him to the hospital.

According to the father of the victim, his son was shot twice as a military column of around 80 junta troops passed their home in the village of Ma Gyi Oak early Monday morning.

“Our house is right next to the road, so we could hear gunshots as we were brushing our teeth. When my son went out to have a look, he was shot in the arm and chest,” the father said.

A fellow villager, 53-year-old Htay, volunteered to take the boy,  Khant Khant Nyein, and his mother to the hospital in an ambulance, but as they were leaving the village, they ran into soldiers who immediately opened fire on the vehicle.

The driver reportedly died instantly in the attack, while the patient was fatally injured. His mother survived but was forced onto the ground and brutally beaten, the father said.

“My wife was kicked in the face twice. My son was still alive and said he was thirsty, but she wasn’t allowed to give him any water. When they finally did let her go to get some water, she escaped,” he added.

According to a member of a local defence force, the mother ran to the group to seek its help in rescuing her son.

“They were just trying to get medical help for the kid, but they ran into the soldiers and were shot at again,” the defence force member said.

When the soldiers left the village at around 11am, Khant Khant Nyein’s father went to the site of the shooting and found the boy and the body of the ambulance driver lying in a pond.

“They dumped them both in the pond. My son was still just barely alive when I found him. He managed to speak for about 15 minutes, and then he passed,” the father said.

Regime forces reportedly returned to the scene of the murder later to collect the bodies and the badly damaged ambulance, local sources said.

Last week, residents of two neighbouring villages in Khin-U and Kanbalu townships said they discovered the bodies of at least locals who had been killed by regime forces.

Some had their hands and feet tied together with wire and were burnt beyond recognition, they said.

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