Burma

About a Dozen Children Killed by Myanmar Regime Over Bloody Weekend

By The Irrawaddy 29 March 2021

About 12 children were among at least 127 killed across Myanmar by the military regime’s forces over the weekend, bringing the total number of children killed to more than 30 since Feb. 1.

The death toll of minors reached more than 20 last week, with a girl three months past her sixth birthday and a 14-year-old boy killed in Mandalay. The total number of children killed could climb higher as the ages of several victims could not be confirmed.

In a brutal crackdown on democracy protesters on Saturday, 11 minors were shot dead, many of them while playing inside or in front of their homes. Saturday was the bloodiest day since the coup was launched, with more than 100 people killed in a 24-hour period.

One of those slain was Aye Myat Thu, a little girl who was playing in front of her house in Mon State’s capital Mawlamyine when she was shot in the head. She was buried on Sunday. Her drawing of a Hello Kitty picture, color pencils and toys were put inside her coffin.

In Sagaing region’s Shwebo, 13-year-old Htoo Myat Win was shot dead while playing around his home. In video footage, his grieving father held his son in his arms while crying, “My son, my son was shot. He was killed.” He was about to take Shinbyu novitiation, an essential and integral part of the life of a Myanmar Buddhist male under the age of 20.

Another 13-year-old boy, Sai Wai Yan, was shot in the head by regime forces on Saturday. He was playing in his neighborhood and when soldiers and police raided the area, he ran back to his home. On his way home, he was shot and his body taken away in a military vehicle. The family retrieved the body of the boy only on Sunday for the funeral.

At least three children were killed in Mandalay region, including Hein Win Tun, 14, in Myingyan, Pann Ei Phyu, 14, in Meikhtila and Wai Phyo Naung, 16, in Amarapura.

Ayeyarwady region also saw three minors lose their lives on Saturday in Pathein Township. Those who were killed are Thwr Har, a.k.a, Htet Myat Thwin, Lwin Ko and Myo Han. All were 16.

In Muse, Shan State, the regime’s forces took the body of Ye Yint Naing, 16, a Muslim youth, after they shot him. They burned the body without the family’s consent.

Yan Paing Oo, a 17-year-old, was killed in Shwepyithar ward in Kawthaung of Tanintharyi region on Saturday. Locals reported he was shot dead at close range.

A one-year-old in Yangon and a five-year-old in Mandalay survived gunshots as soldiers and police opened fire indiscriminately while conducting raids on residences Saturday. The one-year-old was hit in one eye with a rubber bullet, and the five-year-old was hit in the head. Both had to undergo surgery.

On Sunday, a two-year-old was reported to have been seriously wounded by a gunshot to her ear in South Dagon Township, Yangon, as the junta’s forces stormed into the area at night.

A 16-year-old boy was reportedly shot dead in Monywa of Sagaing region on Sunday.

Save The Children said in an official statement on March 23, the fact that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks on peaceful protesters is horrifying.

“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 fact that so many children are being killed on an almost daily basis now shows a complete disregard for human life by security forces,” it added, calling on security forces to end deadly attacks against protesters immediately.

As of Sunday, about 500 people have been killed by the military regime’s forces and more than 2,500 people were arrested.

 

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