YANGON: A two-year-old girl was killed and two children injured after their village was hit by heavy artillery in Myanmar’s rebel-held north, an activist and local resident said, the latest violence to threaten the new government’s peace bid.
The shots were reportedly fired yesterday in Pu Wang village in northern Shan state, an area bordering China where ethnic minority rebels are locked in a long-running battle with the Myanmar army.
Sporadic clashes in the region have displaced tens of thousands of people and dampened enthusiasm for a peace push driven by Myanmar’s newly elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
“It happened in the morning when the three children were playing. Six powerful shots were fired into the village,” Ying Sau, a pastor in the ethnic Kachin village, said.
His nephew’s two-year-old daughter was killed, while two children aged five and six were injured and taken across the border to a hospital in China, he added.
Khon Ja, an activist from the Kachin Peace Network, posted photos on Facebook of the injured children receiving treatment in China’s Yunnan province.
Both blamed the heavy firing on the Myanmar army, which could not be reached for comment.
Myanmar’s restive borderlands have been rocked by several outbreaks of violence in recent weeks, only a month after Suu Kyi launched a major peace dialogue aimed at ending the simmering insurgencies.
Her summit brought many key players to the table for early peace talks, though several powerful ethnic militias actively clashing with state troops did not attend.
The US Embassy in Yangon said on Friday that it was “deeply concerned” by ongoing fighting in Kachin, a state just north of the town where the children were hit. — AFP
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