Junta fires artillery across Ayeyarwady River into Sagaing village, killing child and injuring several adults

A four-year-old girl was killed and her grandmother critically injured after a junta artillery shell hit their village in Sagaing Region’s Myaung Township last week, residents told Myanmar Now on Monday. 

Regime troops stationed across the Ayeyarwady River in Myingyan Township, Mandalay Region, fired heavy weapons including three 60mm shells at Nyaung Karyar village on December 23, locals said. 

The girl in question died on the way to a nearby clinic, and seven others, including her grandmother, were wounded. 

“The grandmother does not know her grandchild has died,” a local man said, adding that the woman, who is in her 60s, suffered extensive injuries to her abdomen, including the penetration of her liver by shrapnel. 

On the morning of the attack, 300 of Nyaung Karyar’s 400 families fled the village. Seven hundred internally displaced persons (IDPs) have since been trapped in the nearby forests, according to an officer from a local resistance group, the Civilian Defence and Security Organization of Myaung (CDSOM). 

“The junta troops fired at us from the other side of the river while we were distributing food to the displaced people trapped in the jungle. We had to retreat,” the officer said.  

A displaced local from Nyaung Karyar is seen taking refuge in a monastery (Supplied)

As of Monday, it was no longer possible to deliver rations to the IDPs, he told Myanmar Now. 

Ten junta troops were reportedly occupying Nyaung Karyar at the time of reporting, leading the 100 families who did not flee to the forests to seek refuge from the occupying force in nearby monasteries. 

“They can’t return home yet—they don’t dare to go,” the CDSOM officer said. “[The soldiers] are shooting at us with a 60mm launcher from the riverbank on the other side. They have sent drones to drop bombs on the village as well.” 

There have been no clashes between the military and resistance forces for more than a week  in Myaung Township, but regime troops have continued to advance into the area, occupying villages and deploying artillery attacks from a distance, locals said. 

Since December 15, a column of 150 junta troops has been targeting villages in eastern Myaung, burning dozens of homes and forcing more than 8,000 civilians from 10 communities to flee. According to CDSOM, elderly and sick residents have often stayed behind, unable to run from the soldiers. 

Myaung is home to 86 villages, each with around 300 households, according to data compiled by a youth network supporting displaced people in Sagaing.

Some 46 residents of the township have been arrested by the military council since the February 2021 coup, 25 of whom were killed, according to CDSOM. 

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