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Killed in Mindat Township

Myanmar Witness

4 Oct 2022

Report Published:

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.

Figure: Images uploaded by The Mindat Post of homes damaged by alleged artillery shelling.

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:

  1. reports of homes destroyed and villagers killed in Mui Tui (မွီတွီ) village on 16 June;

  2. 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,

  3. 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).

Figure: Mapping to demonstrate M’dat (မဒပ်) village, Kyam Ain Nu (ကာအိမ်း) village and Mui Tui (မွီတွီ) village in relation to Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်) and the LIB 274 base.

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.

Figure: Mapping over Openstreetmap, demonstrating the events recorded by Myanmar Witness to have taken place in Mindat Township (မင်းတပ်မိနယ်), Chin State (ချင်းြပည်နယ်) between 15 May - 29 June 2022.

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).

Figure: Image of the child’s home, cropped by Myanmar Witness and name obscured for privacy reasons. No other modifications have been made to the image. A timestamp on the bottom left of the image indicates it was taken on 4 July 2022 at 0729 local time.

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.

Figure: Images provided to Myanmar Witness alleged to be the remnants of the ammunition fired towards the village by the military.

Figure: Two images uploaded to social media alleged to be from the incident [highlighted in green] compared to reference images of 120mm mortar rounds.

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.

To read the full report download the PDF.

[Warning: Graphic] has been inserted ahead of links to sources that show graphic and distressing images of injured or dead persons.

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