Infants, Pregnant Woman Slain as Myanmar Junta Continues War Against Its People

Warning: Graphic content

At least 39 people – including children, women and senior citizens – were killed in Myanmar over the past eight days by junta forces, according to local media and resistance groups.

Most of those slain were civilians, and they were killed by indiscriminate bombing or extrajudicial killings, an analysis by The Irrawaddy found.

The war crimes occurred in Bago, Mandalay and Sagaing regions as well as Mon and Shan states from Feb. 14 and 21.

On Wednesday, as clashes between the regime and anti-regime forces broke out in and around Kale town in Sagaing Region, regime forces randomly shelled residential wards of the town.

Three civilians were killed and another injured in the bombing, according to local media reports quoting residents.

On Monday, junta forces detained and killed three members of a People’s Defense Force and five other civilians – including three teens aged 14 and 15 – during a raid on a resistance sentry camp near Sakarpin village in Mandalay Region’s Madaya Township, the Madaya Township People’s Defense Group told local media.

Three resistance fighters and five civilians who were detained and killed by junta forces in Madaya Township, Mandalay Region on Monday. / Khit Thit Media

Junta propaganda Telegram channels reported that the people were dead when junta troops clashed with them. They said military security forces found the eight bodies during an attack on PDF forces stationed at a monastery near the village.

Photos taken by local residents show all eight victims had their arms tied behind their backs.

Six more civilians – including three senior citizens aged 62 and 75, a three-year-old boy and a woman who was five-months pregnant – were killed by regime forces and allied pro-regime Pyu Saw Htee militia members from a junta military base in Myin See village in Sagaing Region’s Shwebo Township on Feb. 15 and 16.

All the victims were killed while they were in huts near their farms in the township, a member of the Shwebo Township Defense Force told The Irrawaddy.

On Wednesday, a junta helicopter gunship used 81mm explosives and a machine gun to bomb and strafe three villages on the east bank of the Sittaung River in Bago Region’s Yedashe Township even though there was no fighting in the area, reports said.

During the attacks on residential areas, four people – including two children aged eight and 10 –  were slain and five others were injured, the Yedashe Township PDF Daung Minn Thar said.

Three civilians who were killed by indiscriminate shelling on Kale town in Sagaing Region on Wednesday. /CJ

Photos show one child was hit by machine gun fire in the neck and the other in the head.

The country’s oldest ethnic revolutionary group, the Karen National Union, said that the junta continued artillery and airstrikes as well as drone strikes on civilian targets in villages in its territory in Bago Region’s Kyaukkyi Township and Mon State’s Ye Township, killing at least four people and injuring many others.

The junta attacks also destroyed many homes and schools and killed livestock, which are a vital source of income for residents of the villages.

On Monday, regime forces and allied Pa-O militia members used mortars and drones to bombard a convoy of internally displaced persons in southern Shan State’s Hsihseng town, killing seven civilians, the Pa-O National Liberation Army, an anti-regime ethnic revolutionary group, said.

Two civilians, including a six-month-old infant, were killed, and seven others injured in Hsihseng Township on Saturday as regime forces and a pro-junta Pa-O militia based in Ban Yin town shelled two nearby villages with more than 40 bombs.

A child among four killed in junta airstrikes on three villages in Yedashe Township, Bago Region on Wednesday. / Daung Minn Thar PDF

The bombs also destroyed civilian homes. The regime deliberately attacked civilian targets even though there were no clashes or PNLA bases in the villages, the ethnic army said.

On Feb. 14, a junta aircraft also bombed a small village in Hsihseng township five times, killing two residents and injuring eight more, the PNLA said, adding that no fighting was occurring in the area. Photos show civilian homes were destroyed.

As of Wednesday, 4,569 people – including pro-democracy activists and civilians – had been killed by regime forces since the Feb 1, 2021 coup, according to data compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

Irrawaddy News