Politics

Myanmar protesters join ‘silent strike’ after soldiers kill 7-year-old girl in her father’s arms

Myanmar’s security forces have shot dead a seven-year-old girl in the city of Mandalay on Tuesday, the youngest victim yet in the military’s bloody crackdown on civilian opposition to the February 1 coup.

The young girl was killed in her home during a military raid, according to advocacy group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) and Reuters.

Local news outlet Myanmar Now reported the girl, named Khin Myo Chit, was shot while sitting in her father’s lap after security forces kicked down the door to the family’s home.

Soldiers asked the father if everyone in the family was present in the house, relatives said.

When the father said yes, they accused him of lying and shot at him, hitting the girl instead, Myanmar Now reported.

Ruthless killing

The ruthless killing of a child in her father’s arms fits a pattern of indiscriminate use of deadly violence from Myanmar’s security forces, who have targeted not only unarmed protesters and opponents to the coup, but bystanders, civilians in their homes, and children.

Myanmar was thrown into turmoil when the military, headed by coup-leader General Min Aung Hlaing, seized power last month, overturning a democratic election, detaining civilian leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and establishing a ruling military junta.

Anti-coup protests and strikes have since gripped the nation.

More protesters have been killed in clashes with security forces in Myanmar. Credit: AP

But they are being violently suppressed by the junta’s police forces and military soldiers, with widespread reports of shootings, enforced disappearances and torture of political prisoners.

Despite the dangers, tens of thousands of people across the country continue to protest and take part in a civil disobedience movement.

On Wednesday, protesters called for a “silent strike” with businesses and shops set to close and people to stay in their homes, with the aim of shutting down entire towns and cities.

Photos from local media showed empty streets and deserted roads throughout the country Wednesday morning.

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