Assessments and Documentation in Myanmar | Shot as she swam for her life

Noor, 10, was shot as she fled across a river to escape Myanmar soldiers who attacked her village of Tulatuli. Despite having surgery once she reached Bangladesh, Noor still has bullet fragments in her hip and pelvis which make it very painful for her to walk.

Noor and her 12-year-old brother – the only surviving members of their immediate family – describe what happened to her:

On the morning Tulatuli was attacked by Myanmar soldiers and civilians, Noor was in her home with her parents, her brother, and a total of 16 family members. As the attackers started shooting and setting houses on fire, the family fled to the river. There, soldiers forced the entire village to line up along the water, divided women and children from the group and took them away, then opened fire on those who remained. Noor saw her parents shot dead and felt a pain in her hip as she threw herself into the water to escape the gunfire.

Noor said the soldiers shot into the water at fleeing villagers for a long time. She managed to swim across the river and was picked up by her brother and other surviving villagers, who told her she had been shot and carried her to the border. She was then taken to a hospital in Cox’s Bazar where she underwent surgery. The two children are the only survivors of the 16 members of their family from Tulatuli. They now live in Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh with their uncle, who came from a nearby village and said 2,000-3,000 people were killed in the Tulatuli massacre. Noor says it is very difficult for her to walk due to enduring pain in her hip.

PHR doctors who examined Noor found a single well-healing bullet wound in her right hip. Her pelvic X-rays from the district hospital show 30 small fragments spread throughout her hip, with a single large fragment in the pubic arch. The physical findings and X-rays are highly consistent with Noor’s report of being shot while fleeing into the water. Her persisting hip pain likely stems from unrecovered bullet fragments.

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