By Kantarawaddy Times
Karenni resistance forces fighting Burma’s armed forces have retreated from a ward of Demawso Township after being attacked with artillery, multiple rockets, and fighter jets.
A Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) officer from Battalion 1 told the Kantarawaddy Times that fighting in Dor Ngan Khar ward had intensified as the junta attacked them with artillery from 4am daily.
On Sunday, KNDF, Demawso People’s Defence Force, Central Special Task Force and Karenni Generation Z tried to defend the ward against the encroaching Burma Army (BA) soldiers, but the KNDF officer said they could not withstand the airstrikes and were forced to withdraw. He said both sides suffered casualties but could not provide further details.
The junta has been attacking the resistance groups for several weeks, forcing them to withdraw from the Mobye area in neighbouring southern Shan State to Demawso Township. The KNDF officer said the BA now controlled half of Demawso town.
“They (BA) are deliberately attacking civilians. They believe civilians are their enemies. They will attack anyone who does not support them. I think they are trying to scare the population and that is why they are launching airstrikes on civilian villages,” said Banyar, the director of the Karenni Human Rights Group.
According to the KNDF, the BA has set fire to at least 40 houses around Nam Maekhong and Dor Ngan Khar during its recent offensive, and fighter jets have bombed villages in Demawso Township, killing two people on March 11. Civilians who have already fled fighting in other areas on several occasions have been uprooted again by the regime’s military attacks.