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Fr Paul Khwi Shane Aung (Myitkyina Diocese)

Unknown assailants shot and seriously injured a priest while he was celebrating morning Mass in Myanmar’s conflict-stricken northern Kachin state on Friday. Source: UCA News.

Two men opened fire on 40-year-old Fr Paul Khwi Shane Aung, parish priest of St Patrick’s Church, Mohnyin, in the Myitkyina Diocese, at 6.30am local time, according to Church sources.

“They were wearing black clothes and masks and entered the church on a motorcycle to shoot the priest three times,” a local catechist said.

The motive behind the attack is not yet known.

The catechist said the injured priest was rushed to a hospital in Mohnyin and was later moved to a hospital in Myitkyina, the state capital.

The attack came nearly a month after 47-year-old Nammye Hkun Jaw Li,  a pastor with the Kachin Baptist Convention, was shot dead at his computer shop in Mogaung township on March 18. The killers are still at large.

An activist based in Kachin state said anti-social elements are fomenting religious and ethnic conflict as the civil war in the military-ruled nation has entered a critical phase.

Ethnic rebel group, the Kachin Independence Army, has seized several key military bases and outposts since it started an offensive on March 3.

Clergy, pastors and Church-run institutions are being targeted by the military, which toppled the civilian government in February 2021 for supporting the rebels.

Kachin state’s 1.7 million people are mainly Christians, some 116,000 of whom are Catholics.


Gunmen shoot Myanmar priest while he celebrates Mass (UCA News)