Myanmar: Gunfight kills schoolgirl in Rakhine
Stray bullet from military, Arakan Army clash kills minor
A 10-year-old girl was killed during an armed clash between Myanmar military and an ethnic rebel group in the country’s western Rakhine state, police and family said Monday.
The government troops and Arakan Army, a militant group that recruits mainly from the Buddhist Rakhine ethnic group, clashed on Sunday near Myauk Taung village in Kyauk Taw Township, said Maung Maung Soe, deputy police chief in Rakhine.
He told Anadolu Agency that a stray bullet hit the schoolgirl, identified as Thein Chay, in the head while her three cousins were injured.
"The youngest boy is aged 3 and was seriously injured. He was taken to Sittwe hospital,” he told by phone.
He declined to comment on whether the bullet came from the military or the rebel group.
Local media however reported that the girl was killed by army gunfire.
Hla Thein Yin, mother of Thein Chay, said the incident occurred on Sunday evening when the children were on their way home from the village's monastery where they had donated juices to monks.
"When the children heard shouting from soldiers they became frightened and started running. My daughter was hit in the head by something sharp. I don't know if it is a bullet," she told Anadolu Agency by phone.
She said the villagers live peacefully and no one she knew of had joined the Arakan Army.
"So I have no idea what military is fighting against here,” she said.
Win Zaw Oo, spokesman of the Western Military Command based in Rakhine, said the fighting was in response to an ambush on troops by Arakan Army members.
"We don’t know if people were injured. That’s right that fighting was there [near the village] yesterday,” he was quoted by the local news service Narinjara, which mostly covers news from Rakhine.
There have been reports of fighting coming from Rakhine on a daily basis since the Arakan Army launched synchronized attacks on police outposts in January, killing 13 officers.
Alongside its alliance rebel groups, the Arakan Army previously fought government troops in northern Kachin state and northeastern Shan state.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.