Myanmar court gives exorcist death for killing children

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A court in Myanmar has sentenced to death a self-styled exorcist for killing three children during a ritual he carried out after telling their parents their offspring were possessed by evil spirits.

A police officer in Thanlyin, the township where the trial was held, said the court on Tuesday sentenced Tun Naing for the deaths of two girls, aged 8 months and 2 years, and a 3-year-old boy. The children suffered fatal injuries last October when Tun Naing punched and kicked them.

Tun Naing, who is 30, had pleaded guilty when he was brought to trial in November last year.

Superstition and belief in spirits is common in Myanmar, especially in rural villages in the Buddhist-dominated country.