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Published On: Fri, Jan 23rd, 2015

Burma fighting with rebels leads to brutal rape, murder of two teachers

More than 2,000 villagers in Kachin State, northern Myanmar, on the border with China, have fled their homes because of renewed fighting between the Burmese army and the rebels of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

The fighting was sparked by the abduction on Wednesday of a local politician by rebel forces. Although he was released quickly, the Burmese military used the incident to launch a new attack again the KIA.

Map/CIA world factbook via wikimedia

Map/CIA world factbook via wikimedia

The resulting conflict put the helpless civilians in the crossfire and led to the shocking report by Persecution.org of two women, both in their 20s, who were gang-raped and murdered by Burmese soldiers. Both women were working as teaching volunteers.

Kachin sources claim that they warned the military of the imminent release of Kachin State Transport Minister Kamann Du Naw, but “they didn’t wait for his release and attacked us”.

Despite ongoing attempts at peace talks, “fighting continues on the ground,” a witness said.

The Kachin Baptist community spoke out against the murder of these two volunteers, working to “provide an education and a better life to people often forgotten by the authorities and central government,” the report stated.

Myanmar has more than 135 ethnic groups, who have always struggled to live in peace, in particular with the majority Burmese-dominated central government.

After 17 years of relative calm, fighting broke out again in Kachin State in June 2011.

Since then, dozens of civilians have been killed and at least 200,000 people have been displaced.

Last August, local bishops made a plea for peace, calling for a lasting solution to the conflict.

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