Report Published: 4 Oct 2022
Sequel Report: Civilians, including children, were allegedly hit with artillery in different incidents
Since the military attacked M’dat (မဒပ်) village with artillery shells in May 2022, leading to a 10-year-old boy and his mother being seriously injured (Child Injured in M’dat Village, Mindat Township), it has been alleged that villages in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်) have suffered from further artillery shelling, the destruction of houses and the killing of civilians.
In one such case, the older brother of the child originally reported on by Myanmar Witness was allegedly killed by artillery fire a little over a month after the original incident.
In this report, Myanmar Witness has investigated reports of civilian damage and deaths in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်) as a result of artillery fire from the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 274 military base. This included:
reports of homes destroyed and villagers killed in Mui Tui (မွီတွီ) village on 16 June;
the reported death of the older brother of the child whose injuries were investigated in a previous report on M’dat village, on 29 June 2022; and,
the destruction of homes in Kyam Ain Nu (ကာအိမ်း) village, also on 29 June 2022.
These villages are all located within a 7 or 8km firing range from the LIB 274 military base, located in Mindat Town (မင်းတပ်). Myanmar Witness was able to previously verify the location of the LIB 274 base in Mindat Town (မင်းတပ်), Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်), Chin State (ချင်းြပည်နယ်).
On 16 June 2022, there were reports of villagers killed by artillery fire in Mui Tui (မွီတွီ) village, in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်). No user-generated content (UGC) could be verified of the dead individuals in Mui Tui (မွီတွီ), but their images match those described to have died and
Myanmar Witness geolocated other images of destruction to the village.
On the morning of 29 June 2022, the Chindwin News Agency, reported that the 274th Light Infantry Battalion in Mindat fired medium artillery mortar rounds at civilian areas in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်), Chin State (ချင်းြပည်နယ်) killing a 13 year old boy in M’dat village (မဒပ်).
The boy was reportedly the elder brother of a 10-year-old boy who was seriously injured, also by artillery fire, along with his mother on 23 May 2022. This event has been described in more detail in Myanmar Witness’ report Child Injured in M’dat Village, Mindat Township.
Myanmar Witness was not able to thoroughly verify images of the dead child, but analysed images of a deceased child alleged to be the child in question, with wounds consistent with those described in eye-witness reports provided to Myanmar Witness by a partner.
There was no verifiable footage of the attack itself, meaning it was not possible for Myanmar
Witness to independently verify how the child was killed. However, Myanmar Witness has
geolocated images alleged to be of the child’s home in M’dat (မဒပ်) village. The hole in the wooden wall and the inside structure of the house, as well as some damaged foliage close to the home all indicate a strike of some sort that had caused this destruction. This was the same house geolocated by Myanmar Witness in the incident involving the child’s brother (see: Child Injured in M’dat Village, Mindat Township).
Images of ammunition reportedly found in M’dat (မဒပ်) village after the attack are consistent with locally produced 120mm mortar rounds known to be used by the Myanmar military. Myanmar Witness verified the presence of a military base within firing range of the village and identified a mortar present at the base in our last report, although it was not possible to verify whether it was a model capable of firing the particular rounds alleged. Attribution is difficult without verified UGC to confirm the munitions were found in M’dat (မဒပ်), their origin, or images of the deceased child.
While Myanmar Witness was able to identify a likely location for images of a destroyed home in Kyam Ain Nu consistent with media reporting, it was not possible to confirm this with 100% certainty or independently verify that the home was destroyed on 29 June 2022.
These collective incidents in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်) are some of many monitored and analysed by Myanmar Witness documenting alleged indiscriminate attacks in civilian areas in Myanmar since the coup which has – in this case – allegedly led to the deaths of civilians.
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[Warning: Graphic] has been inserted ahead of links to sources that show graphic and distressing images of injured or dead persons.