At least 11 children killed after Burmese junta shoots at school, UNICEF says

Via social media/Reuters

It has been reported that helicopters belonging to the Burmese junta fired shots at a school in the central Sagain Region on September 16. UNICEF says that at least 11 children were killed and 17 were injured at the scene. UNICEF said that at least 15 other children from the school were missing.

A junta spokesperson said the army had entered the village of Let Yet Kone to clear rebel “terrorists.” The spokesperson alleged that two groups had been using children as “human shields.” One group, the spokesperson accused, was a rebel outfit called The Kachin Independence Army. The other group, they said, was the People’s Defense Force (PDF), an umbrella organization of armed guerrillas.

Local Burmese media reported that some children were killed by the shooting on the spot, and others were killed after troops entered the village. The military claimed it took two injured children to the hospital by helicopter.

This recent raid by the junta is believed to have killed the highest number of children out of any incident since Myanmar’s coup on February 1, 2021.

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Myanmar’s junta government, which came to power through a coup in February 2021, has faced multiple accusations of human rights abuses and war crimes. The government is notorious for torturing and imprisoning ethnic minorities.

In July, in the first executions in Myanmar in decades, the military junta killed four democracy activists they accused of terrorist activities. Also in July, a Japanese documentary producer was imprisoned with two protesters after joining an anti-government protest in Yangon.

Earlier this month, the junta sentenced a former UK ambassador to the country, along with her husband, to a year in prison.

SOURCE: CNN | Radio Free Asia

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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