Over 100 civilians killed by artillery fire in Karenni State during the Conflict.

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By Kantrawaddy Times.

According to accessible data collected by the Kantrawaddy Times since the military coup, over the past three years of conflict, at least 136 civilians have been killed and 177 injured by artillery fire from the military council in Karenni State. These figures represent only the documented cases, and the actual numbers on the ground are likely higher.

Among these casualties, the highest number occurred during the 1111 military operation launched on November 11, 2023. In 2023 alone, records show that 97 people were killed by artillery fire.

The number of civilian deaths from artillery fire in 2023 is more than double that of 2022, with Loikaw Township recording the highest number at 73.

A spokesperson for the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) stated that the military council has been using artillery fire not only during battles but also in areas populated by civilians throughout the three years.

“The military council fires artillery not only in areas where there is fighting but also in areas where there is no fighting. This has become a regular occurrence over the past three years, with them targeting areas where civilians live and even IDP camps,” said the KNDF spokesperson.

Displaced persons say they live in fear of artillery and airstrikes every night because the military council is targeting and attacking even areas where there is no active fighting.

“In the western part of Demoso, there is concern about artillery and airstrikes. This is because the military council doesn’t just use airstrikes on areas where there is fighting, but sometimes they also target areas where there are civilians. People are worried. Artillery shelling was most prevalent in 2022 and 2023. We have seen the military council mostly targeting and shelling areas where civilians are present. This year, in 2024, it hasn’t been heard as much,” said a displaced man from the western part of Demoso Township.

During the three years since the coup, the main cause of civilian deaths in Karenni State has been injuries from artillery and small arms fire by the military council, followed by killings resulting from arrests and torture.

Additionally, there have been deaths caused by airstrikes and landmines. According to information from ground-based revolutionary comrades, the military council has primarily used 60mm, 79.81mm, and 120mm artillery in most of Karenni State.

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