Buthidaung — At least twenty Rohingya Genocide survivors were reported to have been killed and forty other wounded in a gunship attack by the Myanmar military in Buthidaung Township on Wednesday (Apr 3).
The attack took place at around 2:30 pm of the day when a Myanmar military gunship arrived and is said to have deliberately fired on a group of Rohingya villagers cutting bamboos and making rafts in the forest nearby 'Saing Din' river in southeastern Buthidaung.
"A military helicopter flied over our heads while we were felling bamboos and making rafts at 'Saing Din'. Then, the gunship descended a bit and flew low and observed us working closely. Then, it began firing on us recklessly. The people started fleeing. Several people were killed and many were wounded.
"After ten minutes, the gunship returned to the spot and fired on the fleeing people again. The surviving people rushed and took refuge inside the forest. And few more people who got serious injuries also died while hiding" said a survivor of the attack on the condition of anonymity.
According to the survivors' statements, they hid in the forest in fear of further attacks until 4 pm. At 5 pm, the villagers from 'Saing Din' village transported victims of attacks to their village with an engine boat. By 8 pm, they were able to transport only half the number of people wounded. The remaining people who suffered injuries had to spend the night in the forest nearby the place where the attacks happened.
The injured victims were handed over to their respective relatives, who in turn, sent them to hospital for treatments in the evening.
Another survivor of the gunship attack said "they knew we were just doing our daily works. Despite that, they fired at us and shelled on us. Many people got injured and died. After a while, people fled and took shelter in the forest as they saw another gunship approaching. It continued attacks and dropping bombs/shells on us. People started running to and from.
"Had we not tried to flee in separate groups and take shelter inside the forest, we would have all been killed in the second attack."
Due to casualties hailing from different villages, it has been difficult to count the number of casualties and to identify them.
Some of the people identified killed are:
1) Mohammed Yaseen, 14, s/o U Mohammed Hussain
2) U Ismail, 37, s/o U Rushon Ali
From 'Ye Chan Pyin' hamlet, 'Thayet Pyin' village; and
3) Dil Mohammed, 22, s/o Murtaza
4) Mohammed Rafique, 19, s/o U Sultan Ali
5) Sayed Noor, 38, s/o U Mohammed Ali
6) U Musa Ali, 35, s/o U Rafique
From 'Dha Pyo Chaung' village.
Some of the people wounded in the attack have been identified as:
1) Abul Boshor, 16, s/o U Mohammed Nazir
2) Abdullah, 20, s/o U Mohammed Kabir
3) U Ali Ahmed, 45, s/o U Mohammed
4) Zahidullah, 20, s/o U Noor Ahmed
From 'Kin Chaung' village;
5) Ihsanullah, 19, s/o U Kabir Ahmed
6) Seruwal Kamal, 18, s/o U Noor Ahmed
7) Anwar Kamal, 14, s/o U Noor Ahmed
8) Tozul Ahmed, 35, s/o U Sirazul Islam
9) Johar, 18, s/o U Laal Ahmed
10) Imran, 21, s/o U Mohammed Alam
From 'Thit Htoo Pauk' hamlet, 'Kyauk Yan' village;
11) Mohammed Shaker, 17, s/o U Ali Akbar
12) Mohammed Zubair, 20
13) Ata Ullah, 13, s/o U Khala Mean
14) Mohammed Saber, 20, s/o U Mohammed Kabir
15) Mohammed Waris, 18, s/o U Mohammed Kabir
From 'Sey Oo Char' village;
16) Moson Ali, 16, s/o U Nobi Hussain
From 'Dha Phyu Chaung' village; and
17) Noor Kabir, 20, s/o U Noor Ahmed
18) Noor Islam, 25, s/o U Abdul Nasr
From 'Phone Nyo Leik' village.
Only those seriously injured are reported to have been receiving medical treatments, the remaining one have been unable to.
At least 20 people were killed and 40 were wounded in the deliberate attack, according to the survivors.
"Among those killed, some had their bodyparts torn apart by the heavy shellings by the gunships. That's why it may be difficult to identify some corpses," said a local Rohingya genocide survivor in Buthidaung.
The Myanmar authorities or officials have not visited the place or to see the condition of the casualties.
In the same evening, due to continuous gun firings by the military from battalion 551, three Cows owned by 'Kin Taung' Rohingya villagers were hit by bullets and died.
The Myanmar military has been frequently using gunships in its fight against the Rakhine rebels (known as Arakan Army) raging since late 2018, putting the lives of unconcerned civilians at risk. To make the things worse, both the Myanmar military and the Rakhine rebels have lately been fighting nearby the Rohingya areas instead of the Rakhine villages, killing and wounding more Rohingya genocide survivors remaining in the country.
[Reported by Thein Wai; Edited by M.S. Anwar]