Myanmar

Dooplaya District Short Update: A woman was killed by mortar shrapnel during indiscriminate shelling by armed groups, February 2022

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This Short Update describes events occurring in Kaw T’Ree (Kawkareik) Township, Dooplaya District in February 2022. During an episode of indiscriminate shelling on February 18th 2022, a woman living in E---village, Maung Ma Ywar Thit village tract, Kaw T’Ree Township was seriously injured on her right arm by shrapnel from an exploded mortar and died immediately from the injury. As sporadic fighting and indiscriminate shelling continued to take place, villagers living in E--- village and other nearby villages had to flee. (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn1)

On February 17th 2022, a group of State Administration Council (SAC) (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn2) troops [unspecified battalion number] trespassed into E--- village, Maung Ma Ywar Thit village tract (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn3), Kaw T’Ree (Kawkareik)Township, Dooplaya District, located in Karen National Union (KNU) (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn4)-controlled territory. As a result, at about 8:00 am that day, fighting broke out between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn5) and SAC troops (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn6).

On February 18th 2022 at about 9:00 am, fighting occurred again between armed groups [KNLA and SAC troops] in E--- village, Maung Ma Ywar Thit village tract. That morning, a villager named Naw (https://khrg.org/2022/03/22-56-d1/dooplaya-district-short-update-woman-was-killed-mortar-shrapnel-during#ftn7) Pu Tin, aged about 41 years old and living in E--- village, was hit by shrapnel from an exploded mortar during a period of indiscriminate shelling [it is unknown which armed group fired the mortar]. [The shrapnel of the mortar hit her underarm causing a large and deep wound around major arteries.] She died immediately.

That day, the shelling began after she and her husband, who had previously been displaced on February 3rd 2022, returned to their village [without their children], in order to feed their livestock. Her husband had tied up the cows near their house and had gone to the front of the house. She had fed the pigs and then went to the kitchen. A mortar then fell near her house and the exploded mortar shrapnel hit her, resulting in her death. Her husband was not injured. That same day, other displaced villagers from the same village also returned to their village when the situation seemed calmer, in order to feed their livestock and to get food.

All villagers from E---village, as well as O--- village, H--- village and T---village in Kaw T’Ree Township had to flee [as a result of the fighting]. Only a few older people stayed in the village during the fighting between the two armed groups. The victim’s husband and five of their children (one of their children currently lives in Bangkok) are currently staying at a monastery in Kawkareik Town along with other displaced villagers. The villagers who have displaced to the monastery get food that is prepared by the senior monk.

The SAC soldiers are now staying in villagers’ houses and the monastery in E---village, making it dangerous for the villagers to return. Every displaced person from the four villages wants to return to their home. However, many of these villagers do not dare to return yet due to the ongoing insecurity in their villages.

Further background reading on the situation of fighting, shelling and displacement in Dooplaya District in Southeast Burma can be found in the following KHRG reports: