Fighting Between Karenni Groups And Tatmadaw Affects Villages In Karenni And Shan States

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Combined forces of Karenni Army (KA) and Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) clashed several times with Burma Army (BA) in Hpruso Township in Karenni State and Pekon Township in southern Shan State in recent days.

KA and KNDF attacked a Burma Army military column near Htay Kalu Dor village in Hpruso Township at around 10:30am on August 12. The KNDF reported killing at least 5 BA soldiers and wounding 3 enemy combatants during the skirmish, as well as capturing some rifles and a RPG launcher.

On the same day, at about 11am, KA and the KNDF clashed with BA near Kadah Ler village on the Demawso to Hpruso road. Later, clashes broke out between the KNDF and the Burma Army in Pekon Township at around 3:30pm. Following this, BA Infantry Battalion 102, based in Demawso town, attacked KA and the KNDF with artillery, with some shells landing near villages.

The fighting displaced over 100 people from Domo Kho, Bee Yar and Hkaw Ber villages in western Hpruso Township and Bee Thu village in Pekon Township.

“Most of the IDPs (internally displaced persons) are elderly, women and children, including some one-month-old babies and pregnant women. The children need powdered milk and diapers,” a male volunteer assisting them in Hpruso Township told Kantarawaddy Times. He said there have been at least 3 to 4 clashes between KA, KNDF and Burma Army in Hpruso and Pekon townships in recent days.

The IDP committee is trying to provide assistance for the IDPs, the volunteer said, but they need more food and medicine.

A KNDF officer explained because of the pandemic it is difficult to deliver food to the displaced villagers. “The third wave is spreading fast in Karenni State. We need medicine and medical equipment to treat people with COVID-9 but it is very hard to bring it into the state right now because trade has slowed down in the region. Many people are facing financial difficulties, and this makes it more difficult to provide enough food for the IDPs.”

The KNDF and KA attacked 300 Burma Army soldiers near Domo Kho and Bee Yar villages in Hpruso Township on August 9, the same day as the 73th Karenni Resistance Day. According to KNDF, the BA suffered causalities during the fighting that happened at 2pm and 5:30pm. The KNDF also attacked a BA column at 5:30pm on the same day near Hkawng Ei and La Wel village, in Pekon Township, southern Shan State.

Kantarawaddy Times cannot independently confirm causalities on either side.

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