Burma Army accused of killing 103 year old Kachin women in Kachin state

A censored photo of the dead body of 103 year old Da Shi Hka found near her village in Kachin state. (Credit Free Burma Rangers)

A 103 year old Kachin women from Mahtek village was shot and killed on March 21 along with her son by army troops operating in Kachin state's Mansi township according to a statement issued by the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), a Christian humanitarian organization that is well known for operating in difficult to reach places in Burma's conflict areas.

According to FBR the troops who killed 52-year-old Dau Ma La and his elderly mother Da Shi Hka were from Light Infantry Battalions 317 and 415 of the 88th Division. They were engaged in operations against Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) forces in an around Mahtek Village which is controlled by the Kachin Independence Army’s 27th Battalion.

The bodies of the two victims were found near their village where they had taken refuge earlier on in the day when the Burma army came to the area. According to FBR after Da Shi Hka and her son were shot and killed, “[t]he soldiers then looted over two million Kyats from the son and mother before leaving”, FBR said.

Army troops operating in Kachin and Shan state are alleged to have regularly carried out summary executions of civilians on numerous occasions since a ceasefire between the KIO and the central government ended in June 2011, according to rights groups like Human Rights Watch (HRW).

While FBR began focusing is on Karen areas area along the Thai Buram border FBR teams have been active giving medical and other humanitarian relief in northern Burma since shortly after the Kachin conflict resumed in 2011. FBR describes itself as a group that provides “medical, spiritual and educational resources for IDP communities as they struggle to survive Burmese military attacks.”

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