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The 12-Year-Old Twins Taking On The Burmese Military (2000)

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Published on Sep 26, 2007

Twin Crusade (2000): Two 12 year old twins from the Karen tribe in Burma believe they are divinely protected in their crusade against the Burmese and Thai governments.

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Twins Luther and Johnny Htoo stand amidst their child fighters and make faces at the camera. Luther's eyes roll as he sucks on a fat cigarette, Johnny smiles and pokes out his tongue. The hostage crisis at a Thai hospital at Ratchaburi brought the world's attention to the God's Army. These twelve-year-old twins hit the headlines as the masterminds behind that and an earlier hostage incident at the Burmese Embassy. New pictures and footage of the boys provides an eerie glimpse into their crusade. For their dedicated followers they are divinely inspired leaders with the protection of an invisible horde of Karen warriors. "When they were born the sound of crowds was heard... when people went to look there were no footprints," reports Sister Roberts, an American nun who has counselled and watched the boys for the last 3 years. The twins lead with the Bible, reciting their favourite passages as an ideological platform. When in battle they talk like adults and are deeply respected. But just how long can their rag-tag band of 200 youths survive the combined roth of the Thai and Burmese military? An extraordinary documentary that profiles the once youngest military leaders in the world.

2018 update: Luther Htoo now lives in Sweden. Johnny Htoo lives in a Thai refugee camp, attempting to join his mother and sister in New Zealand.

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Produced by ABC Australia. Ref 0706

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