Junta helicopter drops bomb on hospital where war refugees were being treated

By RFA Burmese

A hospital in Myanmar’s southern Shan state that’s been providing care to war refugees and civilians was bombed by the military junta on Tuesday, according to a local People’s Defense Force official.

Three people, including a nurse, were wounded in the attack, which could have been much worse – a 500-lb. bomb dropped from a Mi35 combat helicopter didn’t explode when it hit the hospital, according to Nay Kaung, a member of the Mobye PDF.

“This hospital has been providing treatment to civilians and refugees. There were no members of PDF,” Nay Kaung said. “The junta is targeting the civilians.”

At least 300 war refugees have been sheltering in a neighborhood near the hospital in Hsaung Phway village, Pekon township. A nearby refugee camp was also attacked on Tuesday, Nay Kaung said.

The hospital and clinic were damaged in the attack, and one of the people injured – a female patient – was in serious condition, he said.

People Media, a pro-junta media outlet, reported that an air attack was launched on Hsaung Phway village where members of the local PDF and the Karenni National Progressive Party, or KNPP – the political wing of the Karenni Army – have been staying.

People Media said that healthcare workers at the state-operated hospital were recently moved from the area for security reasons. It also said that members of the KNPP and the local PDF have since set up camp inside the hospital.

Myanmar’s junta has yet to issue any statement about the attack.

Karenni troops normally move from one place to another but they do not station at places like hospitals, said Khoo Nyay Reh, spokesman of the Karenni Military Information Center.

Heavy clashes have been taking place in Shan state’s Pekon and Mobye townships since early this year.Intense fighting broke out near Hsa Long (North) village on the border of Mobye and Pinlaung townships on Monday, the KnIC said on Tuesday. Junta troops suffered casualties in the clashes and Karenni troops seized several weapons and ammunition, according to the KnIC.

Translated by Htin Aung Kyaw. Edited by Matt Reed.