Air attack on metal mines in Payathonzu areas; Civilian deaths in Maungdaw Township of Rakhine State

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – November 16 Scenes
MoeMaKa, November 17 2022

Air attack on metal mines in Payathonzu areas; Civilian deaths in Maungdaw Township of Rakhine State

It is said that the military council’s aircraft attacked an antimony mining site in the Payathonzu area under the control of the KNU early yesterday morning, resulting in deaths and damage to buildings. It is reported that a Chinese citizen is among the dead. According to reports, the military council confirmed the attack and told the media that the Chinese citizen was living and working illegally, so there was no need to be concerned. It is assumed that the air attack was in retaliation for the recent KNU’s attack to capture the junta’s military camps and police stations in Kyainseikgyi Township, Nyaunglebin District.

They attacked three military bases in Nyaunglebin District and also a police station in Kyainseikgyi Township, so the military council may have retaliated with air strikes as a warning.

Today, an airstrike on a primary school in Kayah State killed a 5-year-old child and injured others. The military council is using air strikes as a military advantage, and in ethnically armed areas, there are indiscriminate attacks on villages, schools, and religious buildings where civilians live. Looking at the fact that at least 60 people were killed when they conducted aerial bombardment on a ceremonial festival in the Hpakant incident, it is believed that they wanted to send a threatening message to armed groups not to conduct and seize military bases.

In today’s incidents, an incident in which no less than ten civilians were killed happened in Gyeikchaung Village, Maungdaw Township, Rakhine State. At least 10 civilians were killed and more than 20 were injured in the shooting of the children’s naming ceremony in the village, according to news reports. Local news media such as DMG and Nerinjara believe that the shots were fired from the Military Council’s North Western Regional Military Command RMC-7, near the village. But on the side of the military council, in their propaganda telegrams, they counter-accused that it was because of AA’s firing.

This incident, which killed at least 10 people, was not an air strike, but was one of the most deadly incidents in which people were killed by ground artillery shells. The incident, in which more than ten people died and more than 20 were injured in a village inhabited by the Myo ethnic group, is a terrifying one. It can be guessed that it is a case of giving pressure by the military council to oppose the armed struggle. In a recent incident in which a teacher admired by local people was killed in a shooting between AA and military council troops near a village with Islamic residents, there were reciprocal allegations on both sides about which group was the perpetrator. As a result, it is forced to conclude with the propaganda as it is difficult to speak certainly in such cases involving the use of heavy weapons. The battles are becoming a more cruel attack and they are performing a punishment on innocent civilians who are not related to war.

Another piece of news is that it was announced on the 8 o’clock news of the Military Council that on National Day tomorrow, activists, artists convicted under Section 505-A, those who have been on warrants, and some foreigners will be released from punishment. It also said that details will be announced tomorrow morning.

The military council may have announced that amnesty news due to overcrowding in prisons and with the purpose of reducing diplomatic pressure from some countries by releasing some foreigners from political detention. The total number of people arrested, convicted of political crimes in prisons and released has exceeded 16,000 in almost 2 years, which is the highest number in the history of Myanmar.