By Kantarawaddy Times
A man was killed during fighting between Karenni resistance groups and the Burma Army (BA) in Loikaw Township, Karenni State.
A local, who requested anonymity, told Kantarawaddy Times that the man was hit in the head by a bullet after fighting broke out near a school in Lawkahtu in Lawpita village tract, during which the BA fired about five shells at the village.
According to an officer of the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF), his group and the Karenni Army (KA) attacked the regime’s forces, who retaliated with artillery strikes and jet fighters.
During the clashes on Wednesday, a volunteer from the Shwe Nyaung Pin Social Volunteer Team said they rescued Lawkahtu villagers as well as residents from other villages.
“The villagers called us and asked us to pick them up from their village…We rescued about 80 people with three trucks. On the way, BA soldiers inspected our vehicles.”
The volunteer said they were only allowed to rescue civilians from some of the villages and some people are still caught in the conflict zone.
Another local anonymous man said a BA shell landed in front of his house and several more struck near other people’s homes. The soldiers also fired their rifles at houses along the roadside after entering the north side of Lawkahtu.
Most of the residents living in the ten villages in Lawpita village tract dared not work in their farms while fighting happened.
“We are so scared of the clash that happened close to where we live. It’s difficult to flee the fighting because the BA has columns deployed in our area. Actually, there’s nowhere to hide…We are worried that we cannot return to harvest our crops,” an anonymous woman said.
KNDF issued a travel alert, warning residents of fighting over the next several days.
The civilian watch dog group Progressive Karenni People’s Force reported 241 civilians have died in Karenni State from various causes between February, 2021 and June, 2022.