At least 10 children were killed by Myanmar’s junta forces in less than a week this month, bringing the number of children killed since last year’s coup to around 120.
Among the recent victims were three siblings killed when junta artillery was indiscriminately fired at their village – which is not near the combat zone – near the Kayah State capital Loikaw on Tuesday afternoon.
The children, aged seven, 10 and 12, were playing under a tree at the time, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force. The shell also injured their father and 15-year-old sister.
On Tuesday, Mg Myat Bhone Naing, five, and Mg Swan Htet Naing, eight, were killed along with around nine others, including their mother and grandmother, when junta forces shelled a monastery sheltering displaced civilians in Lat Pan Taw village, Yinmabin Township in Sagaing Region.
According to photos seen by The Irrawaddy, junta troops burned the bodies in an apparent attempt to remove evidence.
“They were killed when the junta fired artillery at the monastery. We saw their bodies as the troops burned them, including two children, behind the monastery but we could not do anything,” a resident said.
A relative told The Irrawaddy there were no words to express the pain after seeing the pictures of the burned remains.
“They did not even leave the dead to be recovered by their relatives. They just burned them all.”
In Papun Township, Karen State, on Saturday night, junta artillery killed Naw Tar Lu, two, Naw Htoo Phaw, five and Naw Tin Nilar Win, 14. Four more residents were killed and others severely injured in the strike. The villagers were asleep when the strike occurred and had no chance to take shelter.
Other victims killed by junta forces include the four-year-old and 11-year-old daughters of Daw Aye Aye Win in Pauk Township, Magwe Region. Regime forces allegedly raped the mother before killing her and her two daughters last Saturday.
Residents said the younger girl was stabbed to death while the older child was one of several villagers detained as potential human shields and found dead three days later.
The civilian National Unity Government’s Ministry of Women, Youths and Children Affairs reported on March 1 that the junta had killed at least 110 children.
Among the fatalities were a one-year-old in Mandalay and Khin Myo Chit, six, who was shot dead while sitting on her father’s lap as troops broke into her home.
Aye Myat Thu, 11, was shot in the head while playing in front of her home in Mon State’s capital Mawlamyine and Salai Van Bawi Thang was shot dead by junta forces in Thantlang, Chin State. Htoo Myat Win, 13, was shot dead while playing near his home in Shwebo, Sagaing Region.
The report said Sagaing Region saw the highest number of children killed, followed by Mandalay and Yangon.
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