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Laiza Shelling Violated Laws of War, Rights Group Says

18 January 2013

The Burmese government’s artillery strikes on Laiza town on Monday, which killed three Kachin civilians and injured four others, violated the laws of war, Human Rights Watch says. Although the Kachin rebels have their headquarters in Laiza, the government should be careful not to endanger the civilians seeking refuge there, it said. International humanitarian law prohibits attacks targeting civilians and civilian structures. “President Thein Sein needs to order his army commanders to respect the laws of war and end unlawful attacks on civilians,” said Phil Robertson, HRW’s deputy Asia director. “Both the Burmese army and the KIA should take all necessary precautions to keep the tens of thousands of civilians…from harm’s way.”