An elderly woman was killed and six villagers were seriously injured in an artillery and knife attack on a Buddhist temple by the Burma Army on Saturday morning in southern Shan State’s Loilem District, according to a S.H.A.N. reporter in the area.
The Burma Army Battalion No. 12, with about 40 troops, fired long-range weapons at Nong Bar Deb’s village temple, 18 miles (29 kilometers) south of Loilem’s Mong Pawn Township while locals gathered at the site to make offerings to monks in keeping with the full-moon day, a Buddhist holiday.
After the artillery was launched, soldiers allegedly continued the assault with knives.
A senior official from the Restoration Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA), an armed group who is active in the area, said that Burma Army troops first fired the weapons from outside the village at about 11 a.m.
He reported that a local woman, Pa Kya, whose age is unknown, was pronounced dead immediately at the scene.
Five others are currently being treated for wounds at area hospitals, and four more have been detained by the Burma Army, a local source confirmed.
A male resident of Nong Bar Deb village who survived the attack explained that after the Burma Army troops shot into the temple, they entered the premises and chased villagers with knives.
According to his account, another local resident, Sai Dong, age 40, was shot, rendering him unable to run. When he was apprehended, a Burma Army soldier then allegedly stabbed him in both his right leg and arm.
After first attempting to get treatment at the local hospital in Mong Pawn, Sai Dong was transferred to Sao Jarm Tun hospital in Taunggyi, Shan State’s capital, the following day.
“His wounded is getting worse,” said a nurse from Sao Jarm Tun hospital when asked to comment on Sai Dong’s condition, which she classified as critical.
The other villagers who are believed to have non-life threatening injuries are: Sai Sarng Shwe, age 30, with stomach wounds; Nang Kham Moe, age 30, with wounds to her hands; Nang Kaw, age unknown, with leg wounds; Sai Aik Pea, age unknown, with leg wounds; and Sai Mea, age unknown, who was wounded throughout his body. They all are being treated at the hospital in Mong Pawn.
Last week, Mong Pawn Township was host to a clash between the same Burma Army Battalion No. 12 and the RCSS/SSA, allegedly killing three Burmese soldiers and one Shan soldier, as was previously reported by S.H.A.N.
Last Friday, the Tai Freedom news agency reported in Shan language that seven villagers in northern Shan State’s Muse Township were taken from their village by Burma Army. No news on their condition, location or release was available at the time of reporting.
By Sai Aw / Shan Herald Agency for News (S.H.A.N.)