Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
October 12, 2022
SAC shelling kills eight civilians, including three children, and injures fourteen in Moebye township, southern Shan State
Shelling by SAC troops in September 2022 during military operations in Moebye township, southern Shan State, killed eight civilians, including three young children, and injured at least fourteen others.
On September 8, about 100 troops from SAC Infantry Division 66 advanced into Moebye town from Wah Ree Pa Laing village in the south. Heavy fighting then broke out with PDF troops in Boi Gone quarters 1, 2 and 3 of Moebye town, and SAC began shelling indiscriminately into the town.
Due to the heavy fighting and shelling in Boi Kone quarter 3, fifteen local residents went to take shelter in a go-down. That afternoon, a SAC mortar shell landed on the go-down, critically injuring a boy aged under ten, who died from loss of blood, and injuring two other civilians.
The heavy fighting continued until September 13, when the SAC troops stationed at Mae Taw Paya church retreated. The SAC then fired about 30 artillery shells from bases in Moebye and Loikaw, which landed in Boi Kone quarter 1 and quarter 3 of Moebye town, injuring two youth aged about 20.
There was no fighting in Moebye on September 15 and 16. However, SAC troops fired shells indiscriminately into Moebye town on September 16, killing four people — two sisters aged about 7 years old and two men aged about 50 — and injuring over ten civilians sheltering at Mwe Taw temple.
On September 19, at around 2 pm, SAC troops separated into two columns and entered Moebye town. They installed themselves at Mwe Taw temple, using it as a base from which to go out and fight against the PDF in the town. There were about 100 IDPs sheltering in the temple, who the SAC troops blocked from leaving, using them as human shields to protect against PDF attack.
Most of the 100 IDPs remained confined at gunpoint at the temple until September 26, when the SAC troops withdrew. Only a few managed to escape before then.
SAC shelling during the three-week battle damaged over 100 local houses in Boi Kone quarters 1, 2, and 3 of Moebye, and caused fresh displacement from the town.
SAC troops have taken up position on Set Taw Yar hill, west of Moebye town, causing fear among locals that fighting will break out again soon.
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