A seven-year-old child was one of three people killed when the Myanmar military (Tatmadaw) launched a joint land and air attack on Mon Hla, a historic Christian village in Khin-U township, Sagaing Region.
More than 200 troops were involved in the assault on 23 November in which a 40-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man also died.
Over 200 of the village’s 700 buildings, including a church and a Christian school, were destroyed after being engulfed by fires started by the soldiers.
Mon Hla is home to 3,000 mostly Christian residents. It is one the region’s historic Bayingyi villages where inhabitants are descended from Christians who settled in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Another Bayingyi village, Chaung Yoe, has been subjected to at least three attacks by the military. In the last assault on the community, in May 2022, the majority of the village’s 350 houses were razed, forcing hundreds to flee.
In June 2021 hundreds of homes were razed by the Tatmadaw in a second attack on the Bayingyi village of Chan Thar.
The military, which seized power in Buddhist-majority Myanmar in February 2021, has for many years persecuted Myanmar’s Christian minority, estimated to make up 6.2% of the population.