Junta forces kill eight civilians in assault on low-cost housing estate in Mandalay

People carry the body of 14-year-old Tun Tun Aung, who was shot in the chest by regime forces in Mandalay on March 22. (Supplied)

At least eight people, including a 14-year-old boy and two rescue workers, were killed at a low-cost housing complex in Mandalay’s Chanmyathazi township on Monday after regime forces opened fire on residents, according to local sources.

The attack took place despite the fact that no protests were taking place inside or near the Mya Yee Nandar housing complex at the time it was raided, residents said.

According to witnesses, around 300 heavily armed troops in more than a dozen trucks arrived at the complex with two bulldozers at around 10am on Monday. 

The complex, which is home to thousands of government workers and retired pensioners, was surrounded before it came under assault, the witnesses said.

The victims of the attack were identified as Win Tun Oo, 28, who was shot in the eye; Zaw Zaw, 19; Aye Chan Moe, 21; Zaw Lin Htike, 35; and rescue workers Nay Myo Kyaw, 38, and Htein Lin, 21. An unidentified woman was also among those killed.  

The youngest victim, 14-year-old Tun Tun Aung, was shot in the chest. No further details were available at the time of reporting.

Colleagues of Htein Lin said he was killed while trying to rescue those who were injured during the shootings. They added that they were unable to retrieve his body because it was taken away by junta forces.

The other rescue worker, Nay Myo Kyaw, was on his way to the intersection of 60th and 61st streets to help wounded people in the area when he encountered the soldiers and police outside the housing compound, according to a relative.

When he tried to run away, the regime’s forces chased him and shot him in the chest, the relative said.

The troops also set fire to makeshift barricades made by residents of the complex and arrested several people living in the area, witnesses told Myanmar Now.

Reports of additional casualties in the incident are still emerging. Further information will be released as it becomes available.

On Sunday, at least six people, including a 15-year-old boy, were reported dead after a crackdown by regime forces on three townships in Mandalay.

On Monday evening, one more casualty from Sunday’s violence was reported. The seventh victim was identified as 51-year-old Sai Aung Min.

This brings the total number of deaths from two days of brutal attacks on unarmed civilians in Mandalay to 15, as the regime continues its push to crush opponents of its February 1 coup.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners estimates that at least 261 people have been killed by the junta in the seven weeks since it seized power from Myanmar’s elected government.