Conflicts & War

7-year-old girl becomes youngest victim of Myanmar security forces

Bangkok Desk, March 24 (efe-epa).- A 7-year-old girl shot dead while sitting on her father’s lap in their home has become the youngest known victim of security forces crackdowns in Myanmar, as a “silent strike” was held across the country Wednesday.

Khin Myo Chit was shot in the abdomen by a soldier during a military raid Tuesday in the second city of Mandalay, Myanmar Now reported on Wednesday.

Her sister told the outlet that security forces broke into her home in Chanmyathazi township and shot at her father, with the bullet instead hitting Khin Myo Chit, who was sitting in his lap.

The soldiers then beat her 19-year-old brother with the butts of their rifles and took him away, she added.

Khin Myo Chit was rushed to hospital, but doctors were unable to save her.

Residents told Myanmar Now two other people in the area, one in their 30s and one in their 20s, were also killed by soldiers.

On Monday in the same township, a 14-year-old boy was shot dead along with seven others when security forces opened fire at a housing complex, Myanmar Now reported.

A funeral for the boy, Tun Tun Aung, who was shot in the chest, was held on Tuesday.

The children’s deaths have sparked global outrage and condemnation, including from the NGO Save the Children and Yanghee Lee, the former UN special rapporteur for Myanmar.

“Is killing a 7 yr old girl a new strategy for Myanmar security?14 yr old boy also killed recently. Plus 14 & 16 yr boys shot dead in the head. More than 20 children killed, among more than 261 killed since the coup,” Lee said on Twitter.

In a statement, Save the Children also said that the number of minors killed stands at around 20 and expressed concern for at least 17 minors and more than 488 students held in detention.

“We are horrified that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks on peaceful protesters. The death of these children is especially concerning given that they reportedly were killed while being at home, where they should have been safe from harm,” the NGO said.

Since the Feb. 1 military coup, at least 275 people have been killed by security forces and 2,812 detained, according to the country’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

On Tuesday at a press conference in Naypyitaw, junta spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun put the death toll at 164 and reportedly said he was “sad” that citizens had died but that authorities had to crack down on “anarchy.”

Meanwhile, citizens across the country on Wednesday were taking part in a “silent strike” with businesses shut and the streets devoid of both people and vehicles, according to posts of residents on social media. EFE-EPA


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