US calls for probe into Myanmar teacher deaths

Myanmar pressed to investigate the deaths of two ethnic Kachin women, amid accusations they were killed by the military.

    The United States has called on Myanmar to investigate the deaths of two ethnic Kachin teachers, amid allegations by activists that the women were raped and murdered by government forces.

    US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, urged Myanmar to look into the case on Wednesday, as anger erupted in the country's far north conflict-wracked region.

    "We call on authorities to investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice," Psaki said.

    Images of the women's corpses were widely circulated on social media, with activists saying the two teachers were raped and killed by government forces.

    Local villagers told Burmese news site Irrawaddy, that the Burmese army's 503rd Light Infantry Battalion was stationed near the remote village in northern Shan state when the women were killed.

    A medical report said the two died from penetration wounds to their liver, lungs and head.

    Zau Ra, secretary of the Kachin Baptist Convention, told The Associated Press news agency, their private parts had also been violated, adding he was "shocked and saddened" by the news.

    The country's military has been accused of carrying out abuses against civilians as part of their fight against ethnic rebels, and recently launched fresh attacks in Kachin state, trapping more than 1,000 civilians in several villages.

    Around 100,000 people have been displaced in the remote, resource-rich state bordering China since a 17-year ceasefire between the government and Kachin rebels broke down in June 2011.

    The Kachin, like Myanmar's other ethnic minorities, have long sought greater autonomy from the central government.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.