By Kantarawaddy Times
In their latest combat operations in eastern Demoso Township, regime forces torched the homes of civilians fleeing the soldiers at the weekend.
“I returned to check on my village after sending my wife and children to an internally displaced persons (IDPs) camp and they had already burnt 2-3 houses in the village,” said a man who wished to remain anonymous. By evening, the soldiers had burnt down 10 more houses and on Sunday 13 March, another 10 houses in the township in Karenni State .
NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System, which allows anyone with a connection to get active fire data via satellite within three hours, indicated a fire in Dor Nye Khu around noon on 12 March and one in Dor Tama Gyi around 10am the next day. The villages are only one kilometre apart.
“As fighting continues in the area, the military is burning some civilian houses in Dor Nye Khu,” an officer from the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) information department told Kantarawaddy Times. The regime’s troops are still in the village, whose plumes of smoke can be seen from afar.
There are 300 houses in Dor Nye Khu and no one knows how many have been destroyed. Dor Tama Gyi has 400 houses.
Since 9 March, three regime columns have been advancing in the Dor Tama Gyi village tract, which is controlled by the KNDF and the Karenni Army, which is under the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP).
Khu Nye Reh, head of the KNPP’s interior ministry, said last week, “In the past one or two days, a column has been observed advancing from Bawlakhe. Furthermore, this morning troops were spotted approaching from the upper side of Demoso, near the Seven Stages Lake. It appears that the Military Council aims to encircle the eastern side of Demoso and then clear the area.”
Volunteers say about 5,000 civilians are trapped by the fighting in eastern Demoso, where there are about 20,000 IDPs.