Three Women Killed and Several Others Injured by Artillery Shell in Eastern Phekon Township in Karenni State.

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By Kantarawaddy Times

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

On the afternoon of February 13th, 2024, junta forces in Pekhon directed artillery fire towards villages located on the eastern part of Pekhon township on the border between Shan and Karen states, resulting in the deaths of three women and injuries to several others, according to local sources.

“We don’t know which side the artillery shells were fired from. When SAC troops started shelling all of a sudden, the villagers and the IDPs suffered indiscriminately and unreasonably. As of yesterday, there were three deaths. When the shell landed, half of my niece’s body was gone. A schoolgirl was hit by a shell on her way back from school. A motorcycle was hit and caught fire. An old lady who was working weaving straw for the roof of the tents lost a leg. We don’t know exactly how many people were seriously injured. Many are seriously injured and have been hit by shrapnel. The area has become a war-targeted zone even though there is no fighting occurring. The villagers and the IDPs who are fleeing for their survivor also got injured because of the mortar shelling,” said a woman who is close to the victims’ relatives.

The deceased included a tannage schoolgirl who was displaced by the fighting, a 30-year-old local woman who was the mother of a child, and a 50-year-old local woman.

The area where the heavy artillery shells landed has never seen any fighting before, and there are no resistance forces based there, according to locals. The village that was hit by the artillery shells is home to about 1,000 IDPs in addition to the residents.

“This is the first time that a heavy artillery shell has landed here. There has never been an intensive battle. The area is not a battle zone. Only villagers and IDPs are living in the village,” added a local woman.

According to sources in the area, the military council fired at least five heavy artillery rounds at the eastern part of the Phekon township, despite the absence of any fighting. The artillery attack resulted in casualties and damage to houses and motorcycles, according to locals.

Military Council troops based in Mobye-Phekon township include the 422nd Light Infantry Regiment, the 336th Battalion, the 421st Battalion, and the No. 7 Tactical Operation Command. Kantarawaddy Times cannot independently confirm which battalion fired the artillery rounds. 

Kantarawaddy Times has recorded that, at least 15 civilians have been killed in Karenni State and on the Shan-Karenni border over a month of 2024. Of these, 3 people were killed in artillery attacks, 5 killed in airstrikes, and the remaining 7 were victims of extrajudicial killings by SAC troops.

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