Airstrikes hit monastery and hospital in Hpasawng

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By Kantarawaddy Times

The Burma army has carried out airstrikes on civilian targets in multiple wards of Hpasawng town in Karenni State. Jet fighter planes dropped 500 pound bombs on a Buddhist monastery in Kwet Thit ward on the afternoon of 3 March. There were civilian causalities during the airstrikes, according to U Banyar, who is secretary-2 of Karenni State Interim Executive Council (IEC).

At the time of the airstrike more than 30 IDPs had taken shelter in the Buddhist monastery in Kwet Thit ward. U Banyar said that he didn’t know the exact number of IDPs who were killed by the airstrike as there is no connectivity in Hpasawng town.

“I know that some IDPs were killed when the Burma army’s airstrikes hit the Buddhist monastery where they were sheltering, but I haven’t been able to confirm the exact number of casualties. I heard that one IDP was killed on the spot, and that many other suffered injuries from the airstrike. I heard that about four or five of the IDPs later died from their injuries,” U Banyar told Kantarawaddy Times.

A local man, who lives in Hpasawng and spoke on condition of anonymity for security reasons, said that the military council’s airstrike injured many IDPs who were sheltering in the monastery.

“I think about 30 people were staying in the Buddhist monastery at that time. I heard that many people were injured by the airstrike. I do not know the exact number of people who died in the attack,” the local man told Kantarawaddy Times.

On the same day as the airstrike on the Buddhist monastery, the Burma army also launched airstrikes on the Hpasawng hospital and an apartment building for hospital staff within the hospital complex. The Burma army also attacked Hpasawng town with artillery fire. Local people said that many houses and buildings were destroyed by the airstrikes and artillery attacks.

“A jet fighter dropped a 500 pound bomb in Hpasawng. The hospital and a four-story apartment building in the hospital compound were totally destroyed by the airstrike,” the local man told Kantarawaddy Times.

At press time, Kantarawaddy Times is still trying to get update information about the full extent of civilian causalities and property damage caused by the airstrikes and artillery shelling in Hpasawng town.

Karenni resistance groups have recently had multiple clashes with Burma army in Hpasawng Township. Many local people have fled to safer areas, and these IDPs need emergency aid including food rations and other assistance.

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