Junta airstrike within ethnic Kokang armed group’s operating area kills one civilian, injures 12

One civilian was killed and 12 injured in an aerial bombing by the military in northern Shan State’s Hsenwi (Hseni or Theinni) Township last week, according to a spokesperson for the ethnic Kokang armed organisation active in the area. 

The information officer for the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) told Myanmar Now that the junta’s air force attacked the village of Hway Tawng, where the MNDAA’s Brigade 211 operates, at 11pm on April 26. 

The aircraft dropped two bombs, with one destroying two civilian homes, he said. 

“We don’t know what kind of bomb it was but the blast was quite strong,” the spokesperson explained, adding that it left a crater two metres deep and six metres wide at the site of the explosion. 

The villager who died was one of three who was critically injured, and did not make it to the local hospital. 

The MNDAA had recently called for a meeting with residents of Hway Tawng to discuss development issues including the paving of a road near the village. The spokesperson for the ethnic armed group speculated that the junta assumed the meeting to be one involving military matters and therefore decided to attack. 

“[They] thought we were conducting military operations and bombed the village,” he said. 

Serious battles have taken place in the past between the MNDAA and the Myanmar army along northern Shan State’s border with China, including in the areas of Mongko, Muse, Panghseng, and Chin Shwe Haw. 

The last battles in Hsenwi Township between the two forces took place on January 13 and 14. 

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