Six Civilians Injured by Burma Navy Shelling

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Six civilians, including a number of children, were injured on Tuesday when Burma Navy boats traveling on the Kaladan River opened fire on the village of Meewa in Rakhine State’s Kyauktaw Township.

“The Burma Navy boats were traveling from Kyauktaw to Paletwa when they fired on our village with heavy weapons and assault rifles. Six people, including a Buddhist abbot, a novice monk, a schoolteacher, and three students were injured,” said a Meewa resident who spoke to NMG on condition of anonymity.

Local sources said the incident occurred at around 1am on October 1. They added that the attack was unprovoked, and that there had been no clashes in the area between the Burma Army and the insurgent Arakan Army (AA).

According to local residents, there are a number of Burma Army military camps around the village, so there is no AA presence in the area.

The injured civilians are being treated at a public hospital in Kyauktaw. The abbot, who is said to be in critical condition, may need to be transferred to a hospital in the state capital Sittwe if he shows no signs of improvement, the sources said.

“We just sent the injured people to Kyauktaw by boat. The abbot and the novice received the worst injuries. The abbot was injured two places in the chest. He is on oxygen and is in and out of consciousness,” a Meewa resident told NMG.

This is the second time in less than two weeks that Burma Navy vessels have fired on the village.

“Navy boats were traveling to Paletwa when they fired at our village from the river. An old woman was shot in the back,” said a Meewa villager, describing the earlier incident, which occurred on September 19.

The villager said that a father and son also received head injuries when they were shot while plowing their fields.