Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
September 5, 2023
Three villagers including a teenage girl killed, seven injured by SAC shelling and airstrikes in Kutkhai and Muse townships, northern Shan State
Three villagers including a 15-year-old girl were killed, seven villagers injured and several buildings damaged – including a church, temple and kindergarten — by SAC shelling and airstrikes during fighting against the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) from August 27 to September 1, 2023, in Kutkhai and Muse townships, northern Shan State.
On August 27, SAC troops from 105 Mile artillery base started fighting with TNLA troops operating beside the Mandalay-Muse main road near Nam Oom village in Kutkhai township. That day, fighting spread to Kho Moong and Nam Oom villages in Kutkhai township, and to Selan village in Muse township. In the evening, the SAC troops shelled into Nam Oom village, hitting the Kachin Baptist Church and damaging one house.
On August 28, at around 11 am, SAC troops at the 105 Mile artillery base near Muse and at the Suu Taung Taung temple about 1 km northeast of Selan started firing artillery at the TNLA troops staying on Loi Tay Mong mountain, near Selan village. The shelling caused the hilltop temple at Loi Tay Mong to burn to ashes in the evening.
On August 29 at noon, SAC launched three airstrikes over Loi Tay Mong mountain and Selan village. Bomb shrapnel hit a 30-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman in Selan village, injuring them in the neck and thighs.
In the evening of August 29, SAC troops shelled into Selan village after TNLA troops entered the village. Shells hit a kindergarten, causing it to catch fire. That night at around 8 pm, the SAC troops shelled into Phai Kyaung village, Selan village tract. The shells hit several houses, a car and a ploughing machine, burning them to ashes.
Due to the fighting, about 2,000 villagers from Phai Mao and Phai Kyaung villages in Selan village tract, and from Mann Karn, Nam Gatt and Nam Hoke villages in Nam Gatt village tract, have fled to Jawm Jaw quarter and to the Koop meeting hall in Ho Na quarter in Muse town, and to several villages in Namkham township.
On August 29, SAC troops at the 105 Mile artillery base fired shells around the KIA positions west of Nam Oom village. The shells landed in Nam Oom village, hitting and damaging one house there.
In the morning of August 30, TNLA troops went to attack the SAC IB 123 base at Nampakka. The SAC troops then began shelling indiscriminately into Nampakka village, where shells landed in three locations, killing a 15-year-old girl (a 7th grade student) and injuring a 19-year-old boy and two 13-year-old children in the village.
On September 1 at around 1 pm, SAC troops at the IB 123 base in Nampakka again shelled indiscriminately into the village even though there was no fighting in the area at the time. A shell landed in Jeethapan quarter in Nampakka village and killed 37-year-old U Paukla instantly, while U Zaw Tun Hla Doi died on the way to hospital. The shell also injured another two women who had to be taken to Lashio hospital for medical treatment.
Currently three battalions from southern Shan State — LIB 421, 423, and 577 – are operating together with battalions under Light Infantry Division 99 in Muse and Kutkhai townships.
Sai Hor Hseng 66 94 728 6696 Signal (Shan, English)
Ying Leng Harn 66 98 118 3767 (Burmese)
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