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Bus bombing kills student in Sagaing region

UPDATED AT 03:30 a.m. ET ON 02-17-2023

A girl died and 10 other students were injured when a landmine exploded under a bus in Myanmar’s northern Sagaing region.

Residents of Ayadaw town told RFA the students had taken an exam at a local high school and were heading home when the blast went off.

“It happened between the exit of Ayadaw town and War Taw Ma village,” said a local who didn’t want to be named for safety reasons.

“Gunshots were heard after the mine was blown up.”

The junta-controlled Myanma Alinn Daily newspaper said a local People’s Defense Force carried out Wednesday’s attack.

RFA spoke to a local PDF member, who declined to be identified. He said his group was behind the attack but had mistakenly blown up the bus because the vehicle looked like ones used to carry junta troops.

“The team which carried out the mine attack did not know there were children in the vehicle,” he said. 

“Junta forces were also injured in this incident. The exact extent of the casualties is not known.”

The dead pupil was identified in the local newspaper as Thet Thet Mar. The seven female students who were injured were named as May Thazin Ko; Lae Lae Htwe; May Thu Win; Phoo Pwint Phyoe; Nway Nway Aung; Ei Thanda; and Shwe Lin Lat Tun. The three males are named Kaung Khant Thu; Aung Zaw Oo; and Win Thiha Soe. Their ages and villages have not been released.

Junta leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing told a National Defense and Security Council meeting on Feb. 1, a total of 5,443 people including children, government employees, administrators and monks had been killed by People’s Defense Forces in the two years since the military staged a coup, and 4,577 were injured.

According to a Jan. 7 statement by the shadow National Unity Government’s Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs, a total of 265 children across the country were  killed by the military junta in the first 23 months following the coup.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

This story has been updated with names of the injured students.

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