A 7-year-old girl was killed in her home by Myanmar’s military forces on Tuesday, becoming the youngest casualty of the country’s military coup.
Khin Myo Chit’s older sister, May Thu Sumaya, 25, told BBC that police were searching the homes in her neighborhood for weapons and making arrests.
That afternoon, they kicked open the door to her home and asked her father whether anyone else was there. When he responded no, they accused him of lying and began searching the house.
That was when his daughter ran over to him to sit on his lap.
“Then they shot and hit her,” May Thu Sumaya said.
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Her family rushed her to seek medical treatment, but Khin Myo Chit died along the way. May Thu Sumaya also revealed that her 19-year-old brother was then beaten and detained by the police. Two men in the same township were also killed, according to the Myanmar Now news agency.
The international humanitarian organization Save the Children reported that more than 20 children have been killed, while at least 17 are held in arbitrary detention.
“We are horrified that children continue to be among the targets of these fatal attacks on peaceful protestors. 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 organization wrote.
Al Jazeera reported that military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun expressed sadness for the losses and the 164 protesters that were killed. However, the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) reported that the death toll as of Tuesday has reached at least 275.
The military has reportedly refused to take responsibility for any of the deaths, and instead blamed protesters for the surge of violence.
The coup broke out on Feb. 1 in response to the newly elected leadership under Aung San Suu Kyi. Many world leaders have denounced the actions of the military not only for their human rights abuses but also for halting any progress the country has made toward democracy.
Khin Myo Chit’s father shared her last words to Myanmar Muslim Media: “I can’t Father, it’s too painful.”
“I feel so sad and hope no more kids will have to die in this kind of situation,” May Thu Sumaya said, according to Arirang.