Myanmar junta raids leave two children dead in Khin-U Township

Two children were killed during raids carried out by junta soldiers in Sagaing Region’s Khin-U Township over the past two days, according to resistance sources.

On Monday, a girl was shot dead after regime soldiers opened fire on a group of displaced villagers hiding in a forested area east of Mone Hla, a village located on the eastern bank of the Muu River about 20km northwest of the town of Khin-U, the sources said.

Su Yadanar Myint, 8, was shot in the head and died instantly, a member of the village’s defence team told Myanmar Now.

“The child was running through the woods with her family and other villagers when the junta column started firing at them,” said the defence team member.

The incident occurred soon after the regime troops were caught in an ambush by local resistance forces that resulted in a brief clash, he added.

According to locals, a column of around 100 soldiers has been launching assaults on villages in the area where Khin-U, Ye-U, and Kanbalu townships meet since Sunday.

Residents of around a dozen villages have fled attacks by the junta column, which is stationed near the village of Kalon in Khin-U Township, the locals said.

In November of last year, another child was among seven people killed in a raid on Mone Hla, which is the birthplace of Cardinal Charles Maung Bo, the Catholic Archbishop of Yangon.

A day before the shooting of Su Yadanar Myint, another child was killed in eastern Khin-U Township by a shell that landed near his village.

Chit Yin Htoo, 12, found the 40mm shell following a clash near his home village of Ah Lel Sho and died when it exploded while he was playing with it, according to a member of the village’s defence team.

“I think he was hitting the undetonated shell when it went off. The hand that he was holding it with was completely destroyed,” said the village defence team member.

A similar incident occurred last year near the village of Ngar Tin Gyi, also in Khin-U Township, after a woman picked up a 60mm shell that later exploded while she was holding it.

Such accidents have been common since fighting between regime and resistance forces began throughout much of Sagaing Region nearly two years ago.

Township administration teams operating under the shadow National Unity Government have conducted public education campaigns to warn civilians of the dangers of handling unexploded ordnance.

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