Regime Cuts Off Power and Water In Besieged Loikaw

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Loikaw residents are trying to buy solar panels to power their phones in the Karenni State capital after the junta cut off electricity during its massive offensive against resistance fighters and town residents. ”Some people are trying to buy power banks, but the problem is that many shops in Loikaw have closed,” a local who wished to remain anonymous told the Kantarawaddy Times.

Last Thursday, the regime cut power supply in Mai Lon, Pan Kang and Ywa Tan Shay, as well as other nearby wards where fighting with Karenni Army and the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force was concentrated.

On Sunday, it cut off electricity and water throughout Loikaw right after launching an artillery attack. In addition, the city government has stopped rubbish collection.”The situation has deteriorated a lot,” said another man who did not want to give his name.

Most people in the capital rely on the municipality to distribute water, which comes from the Belu River, and those who have a well cannot use their pumps without electricity.

Although many people have fled Loikaw after the Burma Army (BA) attacked the town daily with airstrikes and artillery attacks since 6 January, some residents have been unable to leave or have chosen to stay. At press time, it is unclear how many of the 51,000 residents are left in the capital.

Even before last week, more than half of the 300,000 residents of Karenni State had been affected by BA offensives and fighting with Karenni resistance groups that began last May after the junta began killing and arresting people who had peacefully protested against the coup nearly a year ago.

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