A seven-year-old girl has been shot dead in Myanmar, becoming the youngest known victim in the crackdown following last month’s military coup.
Khin Myo Chit was killed by police while she ran towards her father, during a raid on their home in the city of Mandalay.
“They kicked the door to open it,” Khin’s 25-year old sister May Thu Sumaya said.
“When the door was open, they asked my father whether there were any other people in the house.”
When he said no, they accused him of lying and began searching the house, she said.
That was the moment when Khin Myo Chit ran over to their father to sit on his lap. “Then they shot and hit her,” May Thu Sumaya said.
Myanmar’s military has been increasing its use of force as protests continue.
Rights group Save the Children says more than 20 children are among dozens of people who have been killed.
In total, the military says 164 people have been killed in protests, while the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) activist group puts the death toll at at least 261.
The military on Tuesday expressed sadness at the death of protesters, while blaming them for bringing anarchy and violence to the country.
But security forces have used live rounds against protesters, and there have been multiple eyewitness reports of people being beaten and sometimes shot as the military conducts house raids to arrest activists and protesters.
In a statement, Save the Children said it was “horrified” by the girl’s death, which came a day after a 14-year-old boy was reportedly shot dead in Mandalay.
“The death of these children is especially concerning given that they reportedly were killed while being at home, where they should have been safe from harm. The fact that so many children are being killed on an almost daily basis now shows a complete disregard for human life by security forces,” the group said.