By Kantarawaddy Times
A human rights group is concerned that the junta’s armed forces are increasingly using military drones against civilians after shelling a funeral home in Demawso Township. According to the Karenni Human Rights Group (KHRG), a drone had flown over Per Por Du before attacking the village in Karenni State on Sunday.
A man, who asked not to be named, said several villagers returned on motorbikes to attend a funeral, possibly attracting the attention of the Burma Army (BA) Infantry Battalion 102, which fired 120 mm artillery shells and 81 mm mortars. Fortunately, no one was killed or injured, although some shells landed right next to people during the attack. ”Some women couldn’t flee out of fear. We instructed them not to run into the road and tried to help them take shelter in a dry ravine.”
KHRG director Banyar worries the junta will use drones to target ”innocent people” in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps.
On 16 January, regime fighter jets attacked Nam Maekhong in western Demawso Township, where many IDPs have taken refuge, killing three teenagers. The next day, the junta flew an airstrike on the Rekeebu IDP camp in Hpruso Township, killing two girls aged 12 and 15 and a 52-year-old man. The civilians in the camp fled Mo So, near which BA had murdered and burned more than 35 people, including several children, on Christmas Eve.
Since fighting with the Karenni resistance groups began in May last year, the BA has targeted civilians and destroyed many of their homes and churches, as well as food rations and livestock, while preventing food and medicine donations from reaching the IDP camps. Over 170,000 of the 300,00 inhabitants of Karenni State have been uprooted by BA offensives and clashes with armed groups trying to overthrow the dictatorship.