By Kantarawaddy Times
Fighting with Karenni resistance groups in western Demawso Township has intensified after the regime deployed hundreds of soldiers that have advanced into Karenni State from Mobye in southern Shan State.
A local source, who asked for his name to be kept confidential, told Kantarawaddy Times on Thursday that shelling had begun near Selee Don, but a reconnaissance aircraft flying over the area had not yet engaged them. The regime’s forces are fighting the Karenni Army and the Demawso and Loikaw People’s Defence Forces (PDFs), as well as the Special Task Force in western Demawso Township.
According to the Demawso PDF spokesperson, at least 24 Burma Army (BA) soldiers were killed and the resistance groups damaged an armoured vehicle during fighting with 100 BA soldiers Kyaun Taw on Tuesday. “Smoke rose from the armoured vehicle after it was fired upon. It was demobilised and remains at the scene,” he said.
During the three-hour firefight, BA artillery fire hit people’s homes, but at press time it was unclear how many buildings were affected. The spokesperson said the fighting also broke out on Wednesday after the regime continued its offensive in the area.
In mid-February, the BA had launched a major clearance campaign in neighbouring Pekon Township in Shan State, allowing it to regain control of a crucial road and advance into Karenni State. Tens of thousands of civilians were displaced by the regime’s offensives and others affected by earlier violence had to find new places to hide from the conflict, without food and with little support from local aid agencies struggling to keep up with the growing need.