23 May 2024

At least 73 children were killed by regime forces across Myanmar from Feb. 15 to May. 15, according to the Ministry of Human Rights of the National Unity Government (NUG).

Several children were shot while playing near or inside their homes as soldiers and police raided residential areas while shooting at random. Others died during protests.

Among the fatalities were Khin Myo Chit, 6 years and 3 months old, who was shot dead while she sat frightened on her dad’s lap as regime forces broke into her house, 11-year old Aye Myat Thu, who was shot in the head while playing in front of her home, and 13-year-old Sai Wai Yan who was shot in the back of the head while trying to run away from junta forces.

Mandalay Region saw the highest number of children killed with 26 deaths, while Yangon recorded 13 killed, according to the NUG’s current list of fatalities.

The Ministry of Human Rights said that the children killed during the current fighting in Chin State’s Mindat, Sagaing Region’s Kani and Demoso, Kayah State had not been included on the list. Nor were the children killed by junta artillery strikes documented on the list. The ministry said that an updated list will be released soon.

Children continue to be among those killed and injured by regime airstrikes in ethnic areas where civilian resistance fighters are defending themselves against junta attacks and crackdowns.

In the most recent incident, 13-year-old Aung De was killed after his home was hit by an artillery shell on Monday afternoon in Kachin State’s Momauk Township. Locals said the shell was fired by junta forces and that some houses were also destroyed.

A 10-year-old child also died in a bomb blast in Tedim, northern Chin State, which also injured a six-year-old and a ten-year-old.

Since the junta’s Feb. 1 coup, at least 827 people have been killed by regime forces, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, which tracks killings and detentions since the military takeover.

The Irrawaddy