Girl, 7, among three injured by junta shelling in southern Sagaing

The child lost her left eye after regime soldiers fired at least five times on her home village in Myinmu Township on Sunday

A seven-year-old girl and two others were seriously injured when junta forces fired heavy artillery at a village in southern Sagaing Region’s Myinmu Township on Sunday, according to local sources.

The incident occurred in Gon Nyin Seik, a village located on the western bank of the Mu River near neighbouring Sagaing Township.

Junta forces stationed in the Sagaing Township village of Kywel Pon fired at least five 102mm artillery shells at Gon Nyin Seik, sources there said.

Ei Ei Chun, the seven-year-old victim, was blinded in her left eye, while another person, identified as Su Maw Zaw, 25, was said to be in critical conditional after being hit in the back, a local resident told Myanmar Now.

“We still don’t know the name of the third person. I heard he was injured when a shell fell on his house in the southern part of Gon Nyin Seik,” said the local, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ei Ei Chun, 7, lost her left eye after being injured by heavy artillery fired by junta forces on February 12 (Supplied)

Ei Ei Chun, 7, lost her left eye after being injured by heavy artillery fired by junta forces on February 12 (Supplied)

Residents of the area speculated that the target of the attack was a wedding ceremony being held in Gon Nyin Seik on Sunday morning.

“People are saying that the military heard that some resistance leaders would be attending a wedding in the village and decided to try hitting them,” said one local.

However, there were reports that other villages in the area also came under fire.

A serious clash reportedly broke out later the same day after anti-regime groups ambushed junta forces in Kywel Pon, which also has a large contingent of military-backed Pyu Saw Htee militia members.

The soldiers based in Kywel Pon are from Light Infantry Division 33 and are known to frequently raid villages in the area together with the Pyu Saw Htee forces.

On February 6, Pyu Saw Htee members from Kywel Pon shot at three men working at a mango plantation on the bank of the Mu River, killing a 44-year-old man named Win Aung, sources there claimed. The other two men managed to escape without injury.

There were also reports that a 60-year-old man named Paw Htay from the village of Yin Ma Kyin was recently tortured and killed by Pyu Saw Htee members from Kywel Pon.

Resistance forces based in Myinmu say the military appears to be attempting to strengthen its hold over Sagaing Township, which is a regional gateway to Mandalay, ahead of elections planned for later this year.

Kywel Pon, which is located in the western part of the township, also came under attack from resistance forces on January 13.

Myanmar Now News