Girl shot dead by security forces in Myanmar military crackdown

Family members cry over the body of teenage boy Tun Tun Aung who was also shot dead by security forces in front of his home on Monday in Mandalay [Stringer/Reuters]

Girl shot dead by security forces in Myanmar military crackdown.

A seven-year-old girl has been killed in her home after security forces opened fire in Myanmar’s second-largest city, Mandalay – the youngest victim thus far within the military’s violent crackdown against opposition to last month’s coup.

Khin Myo Chit was reportedly sitting on her father’s lap when soldiers entered their home on Tuesday and tried to shoot him, her sister told the Myanmar Now press agency . Two men were also killed within the township, the report said.

Staff at a Mandalay funeral service told the Reuters press agency that the seven-year-old girl had died of bullet wounds in Chan Mya Thazi township on Tuesday.

The military had no immediate discuss the incident.

The generals have accused pro-democracy protesters of arson and violence during the weeks of unrest and said it had been using the smallest amount force possible to quell the daily demonstrations.

On Tuesday, military spokesman Zaw Min Tun expressed sadness at the loss of life and said 164 protesters had been killed in total.

“They also are our citizens,” he said.

In its March 23 update, the help Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), an advocacy group tracking deaths and detentions in post-coup Myanmar, put the price at a minimum of 275, including Khin Myo Chit.

The AAPP said she died after being shot within the stomach. it had been impossible to independently verify the knowledge .

“We are horrified that children still be among the targets of those fatal attacks on peaceful protestors,” said Save the youngsters , which estimates a minimum of 20 children are killed within the violence.

“The safety of youngsters must be protected under all circumstances and that we once more turn security forces to finish these deadly attacks against protesters immediately.”

On Monday, a teenage boy – also from Mandalay – was killed.

Tun Tun Aung was inside his range in a “squatters area” and wasn’t involved within the protest when he was killed. The boy was buried on Tuesday.

International condemnation
The military has faced international condemnation for staging the coup that halted Myanmar’s slow transition to democracy and for its lethal suppression of the continuing protests.

It has tried to justify the takeover by saying last November’s election, which Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won during a landslide, was fraudulent – an accusation the electoral commission has rejected.

Military leaders have declared a year-long state of emergency and promised a replacement election but haven’t set a date.

The military government’s Zaw Min Tun blamed the bloodshed on the protesters and said nine members of the safety forces had been also killed.

“Can we call these peaceful protesters?” he said while showing a video of factories ablaze . “Which country or organisation would regard this violence as peaceful?”

He said strikes and hospitals that weren’t fully operating had caused deaths, including from COVID-19, calling them “undutiful and unethical”.

Tens of thousands of companies and other establishments were forced to shut as a results of the strike, leaving many cities and towns at a standstill, as Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained since February 1, was thanks to appear for a hearing at a Naypyidaw court.

Her lawyer Khin Maung Zaw said it had been not certain the proceedings would plow ahead due to problems with video conferencing caused by the military’s prolonged internet shutdown.

“The hearing might not commence… the court has no wifi,” he told AFP press agency .

“If she will not participate within the video conference there won’t be a hearing.”

He added that there was an outsized police presence outside the court gates and lawyers weren’t being allowed into the building.

Khin Maung Zaw said he has still not been ready to speak to Aung San Suu Kyi privately. The 75-year-old faces variety of criminal charges, including for owning unlicensed walkie-talkies and violating coronavirus restrictions by staging a campaign event in 2020.

She is additionally being investigated on allegations of corruption.

Fraud claims
In a quite three-hour press conference on Tuesday, the military spokesman also accused media of “fake news” and fanning unrest. He said reporters might be prosecuted if they were in touch with the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw or CRPH, because the remnants of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government are known.

The military has declared the CRPH an illegal organisation and said membership is punishable by death.

The spokesman claimed the NLD had created hundreds or maybe thousands of additional ballots in numerous townships by inventing voters, including in Aung San Suu Kyi’s own constituency. Videos of individuals saying they were paid by NLD representatives were also shown.

The NLD has denied any plan to rig the election.

Also shown was video testimony of former Yangon Chief Minister Phyo Min Thein saying he visited Aung San Suu Kyi multiple times and gave her money “whenever needed”.

The European Union and therefore the refore the us imposed sanctions on Monday against individuals involved within the coup and the repression of the demonstrators.
The 11 people the EU named include General Min Aung Hlaing, the military’s commander-in-chief and now the top of the military government.

The EU already has an arms embargo on Myanmar and has imposed sanctions on some senior military officials since 2018.

Washington had already penalised Min Aung Hlaing and therefore the measures announced on Monday expanded the names on the list.

Some of Myanmar’s neighbours also spoke out against the violence.

“We believe violence against unarmed civilians is inexcusable,” Singapore secretary of state Vivian Balakrishnan said in Kuala Lumpur after talks together with his Malaysian counterpart.

The military government said it’s cooperating with five neighbouring countries – Bangladesh, China, India, Laos and Thailand – and values and respects their words. China has considerable business interests in Myanmar and may be a member of the UN Security Council with veto power.

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