Regime Shells Loikaw 100 Times on New Year’s Day

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By Kantarawaddy Times

On New Year’s Day, IB-250 of the State’s Administration Council (SAC) unleashed a barrage of 120mm and 122mm mortar shells on the partially held resistance town of Loikaw, according to Col Phone Naing, the adjutant general of the Karenni Army (KA).

“Burma Army indiscriminately fired over 100 shells at Loikaw town, lasting 45 minutes after midnight on New Year’s Day,” he said. However, he could not confirm casualties resulting from the blitz that struck Chikel and Htay Thama wards, igniting multiple homes.

A Loikaw People’s Defence Force reported that no ongoing fighting was occurring between Karenni resistance fighters and SAC at the time. The groups have seized about sixty percent of the capital town. He mentioned that the regime frequently shells Loikaw.

On Christmas Day, SAC conducted 34 airstrikes, dropping 500 lb bombs.

The persistent air bombardments have caused extensive damage to people’s homes, but specific information about the extent is not available.

Junta soldiers remaining in the town open fire at anyone seen on the streets. While most residents have evacuated Loikaw, some remain, and the resistance has advised them to avoid venturing onto roads leading into the town, as these points are monitored by the enemy.

In November, resistance groups launched the 1111 Operation, aiming to oust SAC from the capital and key locations in Pekon Township, located in southern Shan State. Success in this endeavor would grant them control over most of the ground in Karenni State and open the main transportation artery to Pekon Township.

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