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Burma: 76 year-old Christian Pastor Killed in Artillery Strike

CSW calls for international action to pressurize Burmese government to stop attacks in Kachin State

ICC Note: The Burmese military, made up almost entirely of hardline Buddhist soldiers, has been conducting a military offensive against the Christian Kachin ethnic people of Burma for more than a year and a half. Over the last few weeks attacks have escalated with strikes by jets and attack helicopters. Two days ago the military hit Liaza, the headquarters of the Kachin  Independence Organization, with artillery shells, killing a 76 year-old pastor and a 15 year-old boy.

01/14/2013/ Burma (CSW) –Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has called for international action following the Burma Army’s bombardment of Laiza, on the China-Burma border, in which three civilians, including a 76 year-old Christian pastor and a 15 year-old boy, were killed and four others injured.

According to reports from Kachin sources, the Burma Army attacked Laiza, where the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) is headquartered, at 08.15am local time this morning, firing 105 and 155mm artillery shells three times. It is the first time Laiza itself has been directly attacked.

Among the injured were a two-and-a-half year-old girl, Jangma Bawk San, her mother Lagoi Sau Nam, aged 38, an eight year old girl, Langjaw Nu Jai, and a 56 year-old woman, Nang Zing Roi Ji. The three civilians who were killed were Pastor Malang Yaw, aged 76, Hpauyu Doi San Awng, aged 15, and Nhkum Bawk Naw, age unknown.

These attacks follow three weeks of aerial bombardment by the Burma Army using jet fighters and helicopter gunships. The Burma Army has been conducting a military offensive against the Kachin since June 2011, breaking a ceasefire that had lasted for 17 years. Over 100,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the war began, and the Burma Army has been accused of grave human rights violations, including rape, torture, destruction of villages, looting and desecration of churches, and killing civilians.

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