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2. Massacre in Chin state's Matupi: Burmese soldiers killed two children, injured six civilians in random shooting


Chin Human Rights Organization

Two Burmese soldiers shot and killed two children and critically injured six other civilians in Matupi Town of southern Chin State on Saturday, November 12, 2005, Chin Human Rights Organization has learned. Local residents who witnessed the shooting identified two Burmese soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 304 as culprits of the indiscriminate killing.

Bawi Sawng, a 17 year-old boy, son of Pu Cang Khawn, who just graduated from high school and a 7 year-old child were killed on the spot and six other civilians, most of them children, were seriously injured by the spray of bullets late afternoon on Saturday at around 5:00 p.m. local time.

The incident occurred at a local football ground during the closing ceremony of a regional football tournament sponsored by Lt. Colonel San Aung, Commander of Tactical Command II for Southern Chin State. Football teams from both civilian and the army were competing for a trophy named after Lt. Col. San Aung, which started on November 1, 2005.

The civilian team from Matupi won the final match against army personnel based out of Kanpalet Town. Eye witnesses said two Burmese soldiers, apparently disgruntle over their loss against the civilian team, approached from the south end of the football field and started spraying bullets from automatic rifles on a crowd of spectators watching the prize-giving ceremony. The indiscriminate shooting left two children dead and six other injured.

Last year in a similar football tournament a brawl brook out between Burmese soldiers and Chin civilians spectators after the soldiers loss a match against the civilians.

Today's edition of Myanmar Digest, a state-run newspaper blamed the shooting on 'Chin insurgent terrorists.'  The paper said that two Chin insurgents armed with small arms opened fired on the spectators and fled and that the regional Battalions are in hot pursuit. But that claim is disputed by eye witnesses who said they recognize the two Burmese soldiers from LIB 304 as the shooters.

Local residents say that Matupi Town is heavily militarized and fortified there is no way the Chin rebels could have sneak in undetected and then left without being caught.

Military authorities are giving 100,000 Kyats each to family of the victims in compensation. Burma Army rarely gives compensation to civilian victims and local residents believe it is meant for a hush money rather than compensation.

Posted on 2005-11-21

Asian Human Rights Commission
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