A man and an 8-year-old child were reportedly killed when Myanmar army soldiers opened fire in Mandalay’s Madaya Township after their vehicles were hit by resistance forces’ explosives on Monday afternoon.
A military convoy of nine vehicles was attacked with makeshift bombs between Thabyay Kone and Bo Kone villages at around 1pm.
Both of the civilians killed by the subsequent gunfire were from Bo Kone, a man from the neighbouring village of Kyauktada told Myanmar Now.
“The soldiers started shooting from the vehicles right after they were attacked. Then, they jumped out of the vehicles and started shooting into Bo Kone village. Gunshots could be heard everywhere,” the local said. “A man was killed near the bridge and an 8-year-old child also died after getting shot in the neck.”
Further details about the victims were not known at the time of reporting.
Another local from Madaya Township said that the soldiers blocked the road into Mandalay city until 4pm, after which they left the area.
“I think the convoy was returning from transporting soldiers. There weren’t many soldiers in the vehicles,” she explained, estimating that around 20 troops were present.
She confirmed that a villager and a child had been killed at the scene, and added that eyewitnesses had said two junta troops were also killed.
Myanmar Now was not able to independently verify the local reports of casualties of the civilians or soldiers.
An officer in the anti-junta People’s Defence Force (PDF) chapter in Madaya said that his group had carried out the attack on the military convoy.
“The convoy was returning from the North. We attacked them with a series of explosives. Many soldiers in the cars could have been killed or injured,” the PDF officer told Myanmar Now.
Defence forces in Madaya have repeatedly used explosives to attack junta convoys, twice targeting military vehicles travelling along the Mandalay-Madaya-Mogok road in January. They also have raided village police outposts in recent months.
The military council in the township has retaliated by detaining locals and raiding area homes. These raids have escalated in recent weeks, with junta troops torching villagers’ houses after alleged military informants were targeted or killed by resistance groups.
Soldiers have arrested anti-dictatorship protesters and their family members, civil servants on strike in accordance with the Civil Disobedience Movement, and party members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), whose elected government was ousted in the military coup last February.
Between October and December of last year, at least four civilians arrested in Madaya were killed in junta interrogation centres.