SITTWE, Rakhine State — A 24-year-old mother was killed and three men were injured Monday when shells landed in the urban area of Kyauktaw Township in Rakhine State.
Ma Aye Aye Khaing, a mother of two, was killed at her home in Peik The Ward.
“The shell hit a tree near her house and she was hit by shrapnel,” the victim’s mother, Daw Ma Hla Kyi, told The Irrawaddy. A 3-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter are behind the victim.
Her relatives said the shells came from Burmese Army (or Burmese Army) troops stationed at Ganggi Sin Pagoda in the town, which has frequently resulted in civilian casualties during fighting between the Arakan Army and the Burmese army.
In another case, two men, aged 62 and 47, were injured at their home in Pyi Taw Thar Ward. A 17-year-old municipal garbage truck driver was also injured while driving the truck, according to residents.
The 47-year-old victim was seriously injured and taken to Sittwe Hospital, while two others were treated at Kyaukdu Hospital.
Peik The Ward is located east of Kan Kyi Shin Pagoda, near the town entrance. Residents reported hearing gunshots Monday morning.
“The victim’s family said that the gunshots came from the direction of Gankissing Pagoda. We don’t know what happened. We just heard the gunshots,” U Maung Hla Kyaw, a state assemblyman from Kyauktaw township, told The Irrawaddy .
After the incident, the central market was closed and residents stayed at home. On December 28, the Burmese army and the Arakan Army clashed near the entrance of Kyaukdu, injuring four civilians.
On December 6, a fourth-grade student was killed and a woman was injured in Kyaukdu.
At a news conference in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday, Burmese military spokesman Brigadier General Jo Myintun confirmed the casualties, but said the Burmese army was not responsible. About 60 air defense units attacked government forces at Ganjisin Pagoda from three directions, causing casualties in the exchange of fire, the spokesman said.
He said the air defense unit was in civilian clothes. Responsibility cannot be pinned on one party, he said.
AA information officer Khaing Thukha said there was no fighting near the Kan Gyi Shin Pagoda on Monday morning.
“Using the security of the town as an excuse, the Burmese military deployed troops inside the town’s pagodas and stupas. They could fire heavy and small arms at any time. Civilians were killed or injured. and villages withdrew their weapons,” Khaing Thukha said.
Thet Ko Ko Translated from Burmese
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