Child shot dead in drunken soldiers’ attack on civilian homes

Military raids on two villages near the Muu River in southern Sagaing Region last week destroyed dozens of houses and resulted in the death of a six-year-old child, according to resistance sources.

A column of around 30 junta troops carried out the raids as they moved south along the river’s eastern bank on February 2, reportedly firing off their guns indiscriminately as they went through the villages of Ta Dar U and Tar Taing, located about 25km west of the city of Sagaing.

After arriving in Ta Dar U at around 9:30am, the soldiers searched a house and continued to fire at random. Lin Yupar Myo, a kindergarten student living in the village, was shot in the stomach and killed instantly, according to Tite Nal Swun, information officer for the local chapter of the People’s Defence Force (PDF) based in Sagaing’s Myinmu Township. 

“There was no fighting in the village. The dogs [junta soldiers] were drunk. They raided a home and randomly shot off their guns in the surrounding area. They caused an uproar in the village, and the child was struck during the commotion,” he said. 

“They were shouting ‘die…die!’ as they opened fire on the village. Adults hid behind trees but the child was hit. The bullet went through her abdomen,” he added.

According to Tite Nal Swun, the junta troops continued to roam around the village for some time after the shooting, still firing at random. They then left after setting fire to the first house they had raided. 

The column then moved south, arriving in Tar Taing, a village of some 100 households located at the confluence of the Muu and Ayeyarwady rivers, in the early afternoon. 

Soon after entering the village, the soldiers began setting fire to houses, destroying about 60 altogether, according to PDF members based in Myinmu. 

The column then marched north to Nyaung Pin Wun police station, adjacent to Ta Dar U, later the same day. Eight PDF groups based in Sagaing and Myinmu fired on the column using long-range weapons once they arrived there, the Myinmu PDF reported. 

“We couldn’t fight them while they were burning houses in Tar Taing, but we fired at them from the other side of Muu River with long-range weapons once they were inside the Nyaung Pin Wun police station. One shell fell on their guardhouse, but most of them hit the station,” said Myinmu PDF member Khin Thaung. 

The PDF groups claim to have fired three mortar shells and 15 improvised rockets during their attack, killing seven junta soldiers in total. 

“Our shells killed two in the guardhouse and five in the station. Some witnesses saw them burying their fallen comrades’ bodies,” Khin Thaung said.

Myanmar Now was unable to reach the military council for comment on the destruction of the village houses or the child’s death. 

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