Asia/Pacific

Soldiers in Myanmar kill 7-year-old girl during raid on home

Protesters in Myanmar
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A 7-year-old girl shot dead by Myanmar military forces on Tuesday became the youngest victim in the violent crackdown on protests against last month’s coup that ousted the country’s civilian government. 

Al Jazeera reported that the girl, Khin Myo Chit, was sitting on her father’s lap when security forces entered her home in Myanmar’s second-largest city of Mandalay.

The girl’s older sister told the Myanmar Now news agency that soldiers asked the father if everyone in the family was in the house and after the father responded “yes,” the soldiers accused him of lying. 

The soldiers then reportedly shot at the father, hitting the girl instead, according to CNN

The Associated Press reported that the girl’s sister told Myanmar Now that the soldiers then beat her 19-year-old brother and eventually took him away.

Staff at a Mandalay funeral service told Reuters that the young girl later died from the bullet wounds in Chan Mya Thazi Township on Tuesday. 

Khin Myo Chit’s death and the violent crackdown on protesters, which the independent Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) says has killed at least 275 people, was followed Wednesday by a “silent strike,” in which protesters closed their businesses and stayed home in an effort to shut down towns and cities. 

The demonstrations Wednesday marked a change from the large protests in the streets held since Feb. 1, when Myanmar military forces ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials over claims of corruption and widespread fraud in the country’s November 2020 election. 

The death of the 7-year-old girl followed the killing of a 15-year-old boy in Mandalay on Monday, CNN reported. 

The AAPP said the boy, who was in 8th grade, was shot “when he strayed out of the house to fill the up water in front of the house,” according to CNN. 

Amid the violence, the Myanmar military issued a rare concession Wednesday with the release of more than 600 people who had been detained during the protests, according to the AP. 

AP journalist Thein Zaw, who was detained in late February while covering the demonstrations, was also released Wednesday. 

President Biden and other world leaders have condemned the military coup, as well as the military junta’s use of force against civilian protesters, and the House last week voted 398-14 to pass a resolution condemning the coup.

Tags Al Jazeera Aung San Suu Kyi Biden CNN House Joe Biden Military coup Myanmar Myanmar coup Myanmar protests Reuters The Associated Press

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