Casualties of Burma Army strike: civilians

By January 16, 2013

Burma (MNN) — A 15-year-old boy and 76-year-old pastor were among the victims of a Burma Army attack on Monday morning, January 14.

The Burma Army fired four rounds of cannons on the Kachin village of Laiza.

Three people were killed and four injured. Among those injured were a 2-year-old girl and her mother, and an 8-year-old girl.

According to Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Kachin sources, Laiza serves as the base for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO). This is the first time Laiza has been directly targeted.

The Burma Army also opened fire the same morning on villagers in Kahtan. The number of casualties and injuries is still unknown. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA)–the armed branch of the KIO–was not posted in Kahtan. There was no armed conflict in the area.

These Monday attacks come on the tail-end of three weeks of air strikes by the Burma Army with jet fighters and helicopter gunships.

Conflict between the KIA and the Burma Army has been raging since the broken ceasefire agreement. Burma’s military broke the 17-year-standing ceasefire in June 2011 when they began a military offensive against people in Burma’s northern state of Kachin. The Kachin want autonomy.

Over 100,000 Kachin people have fled since the turmoil started. Among the human rights violations attributed to the Burma Army are rape, torture, murder of civilians, looting, and destruction of churches and villages.

CSW calls for international action. They have written to the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. CSW urges her to bring the situation to attention as an urgent matter with Burma’s government.

The issue was raised in the British House of Commons last week. The United States and United Nations are on alert.

Please pray for believers who just lost their pastor in the Kachin state. Pray for them not to falter with the message and hope of the Gospel. Pray for the safety of the Kachin people.

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