Mrauk-U Villager in Critical Condition after Burma Army Shooting

The man is the latest civilian casualty in a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 60 noncombatants since the start of the year.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

A man is in hospital in northern Rakhine State’s Mrauk-U Township after being shot in the head by Burma Army troops as he was travelling by motorboat between the villages of Tawng Myint and Kyar Kan on Tuesday.

Maung Than Tun, 22, of Tawng Myint was on his way to Kyar Kan with three other local villagers when they came under fire as they passed Tein Nyo, a village currently being used as a base by a Burma Army military column.

“The army opened fire on them near Tein Nyo. One man, a civilian from Tawng Myint, was shot in the head and has been admitted to the hospital to receive treatment for his injuries,” said a local resident who spoke to NMG about the incident.

Maung Than Tun’s condition was listed as critical.

According to the Rakhine Ethnic Tribes Association, more than 60 civilians have been killed and at least 160 have been injured since the start of this year, as civilian casualties from the Burma Army’s offensive against the Arakan Army (AA) continue to mount.

“According to our data, 62 civilians have been killed between January and today. Most were killed in custody, while others were killed by landmines or when they were caught in the crossfire during clashes. And some died when artillery shells landed in their villages,” said the association’s secretary, Zaw Zaw Tun.

There were also reports of clashes near the village of Letkar, which is also in Mrauk-U Township, on Tuesday morning.

“Clashes occurred near Letkar and Buu Ywet Manyo, about seven miles from the town of Mrauk-U on the Yangon-Sittwe highway, according to villagers I spoke to by phone. Drivers said that they passed two exploded landmines on the road,” Zaw Tun, of Mrauk-U Emergency Aid, told NMG.

NMG contacted the Burma Army’s True News Information Team and an AA spokesperson for comment, but did not receive a response.

Clashes between Burma Army and AA forces have recently intensified in Rakhine State’s Buthidaung, Rathaydaung, Mrauk-U, Ponnagyun, Ann and Myae Pon townships.