This article was originally published by Radio Free Asia and is reprinted with permission.
Junta heavy artillery killed a nine-year-old boy in Sagaing region’s Yinmarbin township, residents told RFA Wednesday.
They said the boy, Kyaw Thiha, died Tuesday when a shell hit his home in Pay Kone village.
Five other people were injured in the shelling and are being treated locally.
Locals blamed the attack on troops who are providing security for the China-owned Kyae Sin Taung and Letpadaung Taung copper projects situated nearby.
The military commander of the anti-junta People’s Defense Force stationed between Yinmarbin and Salingyi townships told RFA there was no reason for the shelling because his force was not fighting with junta troops Tuesday.
Separately, villagers found the bodies of three men near a bridge over the river that runs between Yinmarbin and Salingyi townships on Wednesday, a local eyewitness from Yinmarbin Township who didn’t want to be named for security reasons told RFA.
“Three bodies were found near the Myauk Yamar bridge this morning,” he said.
“Two can be confirmed to be from Lel Ngauk village and the whereabouts of the other one is still under investigation. The bodies were cremated this morning.”
He identified two of the dead as 44-year-old Thein Wai and 47-year-old Kyaw Nyan.
Residents say the villagers were arrested around five days ago when they encountered a column of nearly 100 troops heading towards Yinmarbin township.
Photographs obtained by RFA show bloodstains on Myauk Yamar bridge which locals say indicate the men were killed there.
The junta spokesperson for Sagaing region, Tin Than Win, told RFA that he didn’t know about the killing of the men or the shelling of Yinmarbin.