Clashes break out near Pekon–Pinlaung border, up to 6000 people displaced

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2013

By Kantarawaddy Times

Nearly 3,000 people have fled their homes following armed clashes in villages near the border between Pekon and Pinlaung Townships of southern Shan State. People fled from Nam Hper Mu, Nawng Woe and nearby villages, according to local sources.

Since 7 March, resistance groups have had multiple clashes with the Burma army near civilian villages around the border between Pekon and Pinlaung Townships. Both existing IDP shelter in the area, as well as local people, had to flee for their safety.

In January, many people fled when clashes broke out in Pekon town. They have since taken shelter in nearby villages. Now that armed clashes have broken out in these villages, the IDPs needed to flee again.

“IDPs from Pekon had taken shelter in villages between Pinlaung and Pekon Townships. I think there are as many as 3,000 IDPs. These sheltering IDPs as well as local people had to flee the area after a Burma army military column began patrolling there. Both the new IDPs and the old IDPs needed to flee to safer areas. Now there are up to 6,000 people displaced, including the existing 3,000 IDPs. They are now fleeing to safer areas between Pekon and Pinlaung Townships,” a male volunteer, who is working with the Karenni State IDP Assistance Network, told Kantarawaddy Times.

Many of the new and old IDPs have taken refuge in Nyaung Shwe and Taunggyi towns, but some people have taken shelter in western Pekon Township. The male volunteer said that both old and new IDPs in western Pekon Township need humanitarian aid including food rations, shelter material, tarpaulins and medicine.

“The new IDPs needed to flee quickly and could not bring their property with them. They need items such as clothes and blankets,” the male volunteer told Kantarawaddy Times.

The Burma army has attacked civilian villages in Pekon Township with artillery. Volunteers said that some villagers were trapped in villages.

On 10 March, the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) reported that resistance groups had two clashes with the Burma army in Pekon town in February. Following these clashes, the Burma army intentionally attacked civilian villages with artillery in the township.

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