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Trapped Kachin Christians reach safety in dramatic elephant escape

South East Asia

Trapped Kachin Christians reach safety in dramatic elephant escape

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Kachin escape with the help of elephants. Photo credit: Barnabas Fund.

Two thousand Kachin Christians, who were trapped in the jungle by the Myanmar (Burmese) Army have now reached safety, travelling on foot and by elephant, according to Barnabas Fund, a relief agency for the persecuted church.

Sources close to the agency report  that although they are now free and safe, many are still in desperate need and thousands of Kachin have taken shelter in churches.

There is also the threat of further attacks by the military: “Please continue to pray for the Kachin.

The Burmese Army have sent more troops to other Kachin areas, and we are expecting a new flood of attacks and refugees soon when the rainy season starts.”

Attacks by the army, which began in April, trapped around 2,000 Kachin Christian civilians in the jungle of northern Myanmar. The total number of displaced Kachin was estimated to be as high as 10,000.

Those who fled, including new mothers and the elderly, have mostly travelled without any mechanised transport, through thick jungle. Several are reported to have been injured by landmines

The latest phase of the Myanmar military’s campaign in Kachin regions in northern Myanmar began with heavy airstrikes on 11 April 2018. The mainly-Christian ethnic minority have been targeted for decades in what the government claims is a campaign against Kachin separatist groups.