A shell fired by the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) killed a 13-year-old girl and her father at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Demoso township, Kayah State, on Sunday 31 July.
The girl, Margaret, died instantly when struck on the head by shrapnel from the 120mm shell. Her father succumbed to similar injuries the following day.
Margaret’s brother, 17, and uncle were also injured in the incident but their condition is not critical. A third person staying in another part of the camp, a nine-year-old boy, also sustained minor injuries from shrapnel.
A local community spokesman said it was “safe to assume that [the Tatmadaw] were targeting the camp”, given the lack of obvious military targets in the area.
Similar incidents have occurred in recent months. In March three children from the same family were killed by an artillery shell near Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State. In January a seven-year-old girl and her 18-year-old sister were among the victims of another airstrike on a Kayah IDP camp.
The Tatmadaw, which seized power in Buddhist-majority Myanmar in a coup on 1 February 2021, has for many years persecuted the Christian-majority Chin, Kachin and Karen ethnic groups, as well as the large Christian communities in Kayah and Shan states, and the Muslim-majority Rohingya.