By Kantarawaddy Times
Regime shelling that began last Tuesday killed two civilians, including a doctor, in a village in western Demawso Township, where no fighting was reported but where civilian resistance fighters are based.
According to the People’s Defence Forces (PDF) for Demawso, Maung Nwe Leh, a doctor who joined the civil disobedience movement against the dictatorship last year, and Alexander were killed in airstrikes on Nam Maekhong last Wednesday.
“Nobody expected them to bomb Nam Maekhong. We thought they’d only drop bombs where there are clashes. I think they’re deliberately attacking civilian villages,” an anonymous man from the village told the Kantarawaddy Times.
Another man, who also asked that his name be kept secret, said seven villages had fled to undisclosed jungle areas during the night after evening airstrikes destroyed one house and damaged five others on 23 February.
”The Burma Army (BA) attacks villagers who don’t support them, arresting and killing them. They see the people as their enemy, so they bomb these villagers who support the revolution against the military junta,” said Banyar, director of the Karenni Human Rights Group.
According to the Karenni Nationalities Defence (KNDF) Force spokesperson, at least ten people were killed on 22 February by regime shelling near Mobye town, where fighting has been fierce since an air and ground attack by the BA on resistance fighters in Pekon Township in southern Shan State, which borders Karenni State, more than a week ago.
“Fighter jets bombed Mobye throughout the day. They also fired 0.5mm heavy machine guns. Many civilian were wounded and houses damaged,” he said, where the fighting has been going on for over nine days.
Since it started at least 25 civilians were wounded and 15 houses damaged in the clashes, according to Khu Daniel, the first secretary of the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), which is the political wing of the Karenni Army (KA) fighting alongside KNDF and the PDFs to overthrow the dictatorship.
Karenni resistance groups withdrew from Nam Maekhong in Demawso Township on the second day of the regime’s airstrikes. Due to BA’s offensive, clashes will continue to occur in the area the, KNPP secretary said, calling on the people to remain vigilant.
The Demawso PDF spokesperson said one column from BA has been stationed in Lee Wow, east of Nam Maekhong, while another column has taken up position in Nang Sam Kham and another on Sinma Hill. All the columns are preparing to “attack us at the same time”, he said.
According to unconfirmed reports from BA, its forces clashed with KA and the other groups 25 times on 17 February, capturing weapons and their camps in the Mobye area and Demawso Township.