Myanmar military fires artillery at displaced persons camp in Sagaing

Two civilians were killed and three more injured, including a child, after a junta artillery shell hit an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Sagaing Region’s Myaung Township on Wednesday. 

The Civil Defence and Security Organisation of Myaung (CDSOM), a coalition of local resistance groups, claimed that junta forces had been aiming the heavy weaponry at Zee Kyun village, where the camp is located, because they assumed guerrilla fighters were sheltering there. 

“There weren’t any battles taking place in the area but they fired the shells into the village anyway. They targeted that village because it was housing IDPs,” CDSOM’s information officer, Nway Oo, said.

He identified the casualties as Khin Maung Oo, 42, and Kyaw Swar Thein, 30. A resident of Zee Kyun, Khin Maung Oo had been volunteering by cooking food for the displaced people. 

Photographs of the men’s bodies indicated that they had shrapnel wounds to their legs, arms and chest.

Two women and an 8-year-old girl were also injured in the attack.

IDPs shelter in Myaung Township (CDSOM)

The shells were fired from Thanut Kone, one mile away, while reinforcement troops were travelling from that village to a junta-occupied police station in Kyauk Yit, three miles north of Zee Kyun. Soldiers had arrived at the station on August 25, prompting some 700 residents from three villages—Kyauk Yit, Thayet Thar and Bu Kaing—to flee their homes. 

Some 200 sought shelter in the monastery in Zee Kyun. 

“Even the local villagers were staying in the monastery at the center of the village [for safety],” Nway Oo said. “The first shell fell near the village’s clinic and the other one fell right in the center.” 

The junta forces that fired the shells had entered Myaung Township in five ferries across the confluence of the Ayeyarwady and Chindwin rivers from Yesagyo, Magway Region, according to local sources. 

Locals said that the military took three villagers hostage from Thayet Thar, two of whom were reportedly killed on August 24. Myanmar Now is still investigating the claim. 


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