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Teenager charged with murder of girl, 12

Police have arrested a teenage boy in connection with the rape and murder of a 12-year-old orphaned girl in southern Burma’s Irrawaddy division.

An official at Kyonepyaw township police station in Bassein district confirmed that the 17-year-old was being detained there and had been charged, although did not provide further details.

Locals claim the girl, Phaung Si Lah, had been walking home from her aunt’s house in nearby Innyegyi village on the evening of 30 November when the incident took place.

“When she didn’t come home her family came to search for her and found her dead,” said a man in Kyonepyaw. “Her body was brought to Kyonepyaw hospital and forensic reports showed that she had been raped.

“They also found some scratches on her neck and bruises on her face. So based on this evidence, they put two charges on [the boy] – murder and rape. Preparations are being carried out to put him on trial.”

The parents of Phaung Si Lah are believed to have died in Cyclone Nargis in 2008, which killed close to 140,000 people in Burma, the vast majority in Irrawaddy division.

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