Naypyitaw [Myanmar], January 12 (ANI): At least four children have been killed and multiple others have been maimed during an escalation of conflict over the past week in Myanmar, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on Tuesday.
According to UNICEF, on Saturday, the body of a 13-year-old boy was discovered in Matupi, Chin State, while a 12-year-old girl and 16-year-old boy were injured by heavy weaponry in Loikaw, Kayah State, following intense airstrikes and mortar attacks.
On the same day, a 7-year-old girl was injured by heavy weapons fire in Hpa An, Kayin State.
On January 7, one 14-year-old and two 17-year-old boys were fatally shot in Dawei Township, in the Tanintharyi Region. And on January 5, two young girls, aged 1 and 4, were injured by artillery fire in Namkham, Shan State.
UNICEF Regional Director, Debora Comini, in a statement, said the agency was "gravely concerned" by the escalating conflict and condemns the reported use of airstrikes and heavy weaponry in civilian areas.
In a statement, UNICEF said, the people of Myanmar are facing an unprecedented political, socioeconomic, human rights and humanitarian crisis with needs escalating dramatically since the military takeover and a severe COVID-19 third wave.
According to a UN Humanitarian Needs Overview published in December by OCHA, the turmoil is projected to have driven almost half the population into poverty heading into 2022, wiping out the impressive gains made since 2005, read the statement. (ANI)