Hnin Nwe | DMG
1 August, Sittwe
At least seven civilians were killed and 17 were wounded in western Myanmar last month due to clashes between the military and the Arakan Army, according to reporting compiled by DMG.
There was one fatality each in the Arakan State townships of Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun, Rathedaung and Ramree, and two in the state’s Ann Township. Paletwa, Chin State’s southernmost township, also recorded one conflict-related death.
Seventeen civilians suffered injuries resulting from landmines, gunfire, errant artillery shells or other combat-adjacent violence: seven in Rathedaung Township, five in Ann Township, two in Minbya Township and one each in Kyauktaw, Mrauk-U and Ponnagyun townships.
At eight, the most civilian casualties were recorded in Rathedaung Township, where tensions are running high between the military and Arakan Army.
U Maung Kyaw Than, a 66-year-old man from Nga Tauk Tu Chay village in Rathedaung Township who was severely injured when he stepped on a landmine on July 8 while herding cattle north of the village, died at Sittwe Hospital the following day.
Family members of the ongoing conflict’s victims are calling for renewed efforts to secure a lasting peace as the number of casualties continues to rise.
“I had seen civilian deaths due to landmine blasts on TV in the past. I was frightened by seeing my grandfather’s death,” said Ma May Oo Khin, granddaughter of U Maung Kyaw Than. “I don’t want other people to be killed. I want peace and stability in Arakan State.”
Upper House lawmaker U Khin Maung Latt emphasised that the government must take responsibility for civilian casualties.
“The police or the military must protect citizens and abide by the law. The number of civilian deaths will reduce only when the government monitors the perpetrators and takes action against them in accordance with the law,” the legislator added.
By DMG’s accounting, 11 civilians were killed and 24 others injured by fighting between the military and Arakan Army in June.