A nine-year-old child died in northern Shan State’s Mongko Township on Tuesday, a day after his family’s home was hit by an artillery shell believed to have been fired by junta troops.
Mang Kha, a village located on the western bank of the Salween River, came under fire late Monday from the opposite side of the river, where regime forces have been stationed since early this month amid clashes with the Kokang-based Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).
Shrapnel from the shelling hit one woman, identified as La Bang Yweh, in the leg, while her son, Mah Bon, sustained serious head injuries, according to a friend of the family.
Due to a lack of access to emergency medical care, the boy succumbed to his injuries at around 4pm on Tuesday, the friend told Myanmar Now. He was buried later the same day.
La Bang Yweh has yet to have a large piece of shrapnel removed from her leg, but remains in stable condition, the friend added.
Local residents said they believed the artillery shells were fired by military units stationed in Long Khan and He Shan villages in Kokang District, on the eastern bank of the Salween.
The area has seen a major buildup of regime forces in recent weeks, as the military and the MNDAA continue to engage in deadly clashes that have so far claimed the lives of dozens of junta soldiers.
According to The Kokang, a local news outlet, 15 vehicles full of reinforcements were sent to Mongko on September 17 alone.
On Monday, the MNDAA released a statement claiming that it had seized weapons and ammunition after killing another seven junta troops during recent fighting in Hong Shin.
The military has not released any information on the situation in the region, and Myanmar Now has not been able to independently confirm local reports.
Tensions in the area, which is located along Myanmar’s border with China, have forced many civilians to flee.
According to volunteers, around 1,400 displaced villagers are currently sheltering in Pang Hseng, between Mongko and the border town of Muse.