Shelling by regime forces injured at least six civilians, including a four-year-old girl, in three different villages in Rakhine State’s Minbya Township on Tuesday, according to local sources.
Residents of the area told Myanmar Now that junta troops stationed around the town of Minbya fired multiple rounds of heavy artillery early Tuesday morning, hitting the nearby villages of Khaung Laung Chaung, Hpa Laung Pyin, and Setkayae.
The shelling came from five locations, including three Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) bases—279, 380, and 541—and outposts at the town’s Min Bar Gyi jetty and Wet Kyein Taung pagoda.
One shell fell inside Khaung Laung Chaung, four in Hpa Laung Pyin, and three in Setkayae, locals said. All three are within 13km of Minbya, and less than 8km from each other.
Two of the victims—four-year-old Khaing Myo Zan and 18-year-old Kyaw Naing Oo—were from Hpa Laung Pyin, while the others—San Goe Aung, 60, Kywin Kyan, 60, and 45-year-old Hnin Che and her son Aung Naing Linn—were from Setkayae, sources said.
According to a local resident, the two from Hpa Laung Pyin sustained relatively minor injuries, while the four from Setkayae had to be hospitalised.
There had been no fighting in the area between the military and the Arakan Army (AA) before the shelling started, a Hpa Laung Pyin villager told Myanmar Now.
“They set up four heavy weapons at the Min Bar Gyi jetty and deliberately targeted the villages. The army, navy and air force were all involved in the attacks,” said the villager, noting that a junta aircraft had also been spotted in the area.
Several houses were also destroyed in the attacks, including one in Khaung Laung Chaung, two in Hpa Laung Pyin, and six in Setkayae, locals said.
On Monday, the AA clashed with junta forces near Khaung Laung Chaung for about half an hour after attacking two military marine vessels on the Kywel Kuu River.
A pregnant woman and two children were injured when troops aboard the boats opened fire with heavy artillery, local sources reported.
Residents of several villages in the area, including Khaung Laung Chaung, Hpa Laung Pyin, Setkayae, Chaung Shay, and Kyar Yae Pyin, have been displaced by the military’s assaults.
Since August, the military and the AA have been engaging in serious clashes in Buthidaung, Maungdaw, Minbya, Mrauk-U, Rathedaung and Taungup townships in Rakhine State and Paletwa in southern Chin State.
Source – Myanmar Now