Myanmar Junta Troops Burn Down Catholic Church in Kayah

By Nora Aung 16 June 2022

Myanmar junta troops burned a Catholic church in Hpruso Township, Kayah State, on Thursday.

The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) released a video of the church and other religious buildings at Daw Nyun Ku village.

The KNDF told The Irrawaddy that troops were stationed at the church on Tuesday and have subsequently left the area.

“The troops destroy houses and churches that people value. It is inhumane,” said a KNDF representative.

On Tuesday troops burned down four houses and shot artillery at a church in Hti Pout So village near Daw Nyun Ku.

Fighting has been reported in the area since June 10 when around 50 soldiers were deployed from Demoso and Loikaw townships.

About 14 troops were killed in fighting since Sunday and weapons were seized while some resistance fighters were lightly injured, according to the KNDF.

Troops had destroyed about 12 churches in Kayah State by February 2022, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group.

More than 100 Buddhist and Christian buildings have been destroyed by junta forces in resistance strongholds since the last year’s coup.

Daily clashes have been reported in Demoso and Loikaw townships this month.

Resistance fighters claim to have killed junta soldiers and destroyed three military trucks and seized two others containing weapons in Hpruso on June 3 when they attacked a convoy.

Fighting in Kayah State began more than a year ago with the junta regularly using airstrikes and artillery.

A majority of the state’s 200,000 residents have been displaced.

Approximately 22 troops have been killed this month across the state, the KNDF claimed on Thursday.

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