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Myanmar Junta Shelling Kills Child in Kachin State

Mg Zwe Naing Win, 17, with his father after being killed by junta shelling in Shwegu Township, Kachin State, on Thursday. / Kachin Waves

A child has been killed and other residents seriously wounded when Myanmar’s regime shelled two villages in Shwegu Township, Kachin State, on Thursday evening.

After a resistance attack, soldiers stationed on an island village in the Ayeyarwady River shelled two villages on the riverbank, according to the Shwegu People’s Defense Force (SPDF).

Mg Zwe Naing Win, 12, from Moesit village was killed and many other residents were injured. A female villager lost both her legs and a man’s arm was seriously injured.

Regime troops then raided and occupied the village and stopped male residents from leaving, the SPDF said.

An SPDF spokesman called on armed groups not to attack regime forces near civilian areas to prevent villages being targeted by the junta.

“Junta forces regard civilians as enemies and they respond indiscriminately,” he told The Irrawaddy on Friday.

Last Friday, 11 children and other seven villagers were killed when MI-35 helicopters and then ground troops attacked a school of around 200 pupils in Let Yet Kone village, Depayin Township, Sagaing Region.

The corpses and around 17 others, including injured children and teachers, were taken away by junta forces.

Also last Friday, junta shelling killed two sisters, aged six and 10, along with two other civilians, while they sheltered at a monastery in Moebye in southern Shan State.

Since the 2021 coup, at least 382 children have been killed or injured and more than 1,400 have been detained and an estimated 142 have been tortured, according to a June report by Thomas Andrews, the United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar.

The international community, including the UN and other ASEAN members, are being criticized in Myanmar for failing to act against the junta’s killing of civilians.

On Wednesday, the Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, an independent group of prominent former UN human rights staff, said the UN and ASEAN must act to end systemic junta violence against children or they could be seen as complicit in the regime’s crimes.

A girl killed by junta shelling at the Mwe Taw Buddhist Temple in Moebye, Shan State, last Friday.

“How many innocent children need to be killed for the UN and ASEAN to take definite action?” asked council member Yanghee Lee, a former UN special rapporteur on Myanmar.

Since the February 2021 coup, an estimated 2,311 people had been killed by the junta and 15,598, including government leaders, have been detained, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group documenting junta crimes.