Myanmar army shelling kills two children in Mon State

Content warning: This report contains graphic images, which may be upsetting to some readers. 

Two children were killed and a mother and her daughter were injured when regime forces fired heavy artillery at a village in Mon State’s Thaton Township on Wednesday, according to local sources.

Htate Pyaung, 13, was killed instantly when a shell landed on his family’s home in the village of Kyon Mein at around 7am, while Win Win Yee, 7, died while being transferred to a hospital in territory under the control of the Karen National Union (KNU), a local man told Myanmar Now.

“She didn’t die immediately. She passed away on the way to the hospital,” said the man, who spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons.

One of the other victims, 50-year-old Ma Nu Phoe, was said to be in critical condition with severe head injuries. Her nine-year old daughter, Saw Naw Darmu, suffered minor injuries, including a broken arm.

According to residents of the area, junta troops from Infantry Battalion 24 stationed in Kyar Ban, a village about 1km south of Kyon Mein, were responsible for the incident.

“They haven’t advanced very far into the area because they don’t have enough strength. But they often fire heavy weapons at us randomly,” said one Kyon Mein resident.

“It makes me angry that they would fire on civilians like this, when they know the positions of the revolutionary forces,” he added.

Kyon Mein is within the territory of Brigade 1 of the Karen National Liberation Army, an armed wing of the KNU. Wednesday’s casualties were the first reported in the village since the group and its People’s Defence Force allies began fighting Myanmar’s military in the area two years ago.

Locals said there were no clashes taking place when the shelling began. It was unknown if there were any armed groups present in the area at the time.

Around 300 Kyon Hmein villagers have fled since the attack, sources there said.

Last week, the KNU released a statement claiming that junta-aligned Border Guard Force 1014 fired two artillery shells at the village of Toke Gyi in Karen (Kayin) State’s Hpa-an Township on March 3, injuring a three-year-old child. 

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