On 16 September 2022, Myanmar’s military killed 11 civilians and injured 30 in two incidents. Nine of the deceased are children, as are 14 of the injured.
In Shan State’s Pekhon township, Myanmar’s military killed two men and two young girls aged seven and ten, and injured 13 others (including at least one woman and eight men), when they shelled a monastery being used as a shelter in Moebye. At least 300 internally displaced people were sheltering in Mwe Daw monastery at the time.
Myanmar military troops have been shelling Moebye constantly since 11 September, when they were forced to retreat from the town.
In Sagaing’s Tabayin township, seven children were killed and 14 injured, as well as three teachers, in an air strike on a monastic school in Let Yet Kone village. More children were killed in firearm attacks on the village following the air strike.
Myanmar’s military has been fighting widespread resistance from established ethnic armed organisations (EAOs), civilian defence forces, and armed groups affiliated with the shadow National Unity Government since the coup in February 2021. In that time, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure have been widely documented, in particular the use of explosive weapons in populated areas such as villages and places of worship.
Since 2021, AOAV has recorded 363 incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar, which have resulted in 917 civilian casualties, including at least 84 women and 143 children.
The majority of civilian casualties, 46%, as well as 62% of child casualties and 56% of women casualties, have occurred in villages. 20% of civilian casualties have occurred at public gatherings, and 10% in places of worship.
Ground-launched weapons have caused the majority, 52%, of civilian casualties, in particular artillery shelling, non-specific shelling, grenade, mortars, and RPGs. Air-launched weapons are responsible for 21% of civilian casualties, specifically air strikes and air-dropped bombs. Non-specific IEDs have caused 9% of civilian casualties, mines have caused 7%, and rockets of unclear launched method <1%.
Ground-launched weapons have also caused 65% of child casualties, and air-launched weapons 24%.
State actors are the reported perpetrators of 75% of civilian casualties, and 90% of child casualties.
AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.
AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.
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