CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 December 2018

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Catholic church attacked in Kachin

MANDALAY (UCAN): Witnesses reported that the Holy Family Catholic Church and a nearby house in Kamaing Kawng Ra village in Hpakant township, Kachin State, were attacked by Myanmese military amid sporadic fighting with Kachin rebels.
 
Parish priest, Father Peter Nlam Tu, said he heard an explosion near the village on the evening of May 30 and some minutes later heard shots.
 
He said it appeared that soldiers had fired at random, leaving bullet holes in the church building and his house. An unexploded mortar shell landed in the church compound.
 
“The next day, the military came and took the unexploded shell. They didn’t question me about the attack nor talk about who did it,” Father Nlam Tu said.
 
Tang Lung, a local catechist, said he and the priest were having a meeting with internally displaced persons (IDPs) when the attack happened. He said four bullet holes were seen in the church.
 
“We informed the village administrator, police and firefighters about the unexploded shell and then they talked to the military, who came and took it the next day,” Lung explained.
A second shell exploded near a home, sending shrapnel fragments through the bamboo walls and slightly injuring a 22-month-old girl.
 
Myanmar’s military has stepped up its offensive in Kachin since early April by launching attacks against the Kachin Independence Army using heavy artillery, helicopters and jet fighters.
 
More than 7,400 people have been sheltering at both Catholic and Baptist churches, according to the United Nations.

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