By Kantarawaddy Times
The bones of three civilians believed to have been displaced by fighting were found in the remains of a house in a village attacked during a Burma Army (BA) offensive. The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) soldiers who found them suspect the BA killed them after they returned to their village in Demawso Township last week.
Other local sources corroborated with Kantarawaddy Times that three ordinary citizens who were hiding in the jungle returned to Sin Tawng to try to bring back food.
Local Karenni relief groups are struggling to feed the growing number of people displaced by recent BA offensives in Karenni and neighbouring Shan State. Many people have had to flee several times with the clothes on their backs after regime forces launched ground and air attacks on resistance groups and civilian areas.
A KNDF spokesperson in Pekon Township in southern Shan State told Kantarawaddy Times that the BA’s offensive in neighbouring Nam Maekhong region in Karenni State forced all villagers to seek shelter in the nearby jungle.
“After the BA column left, our troops patrolled the area. In the ashes of the village, we found their bones and ammunition shells beside them. We assume they killed the villagers before burning down the house.”
At press time, Kantarawaddy Times couldn’t confirm the names of the victims. But an official of the Karenni State Police, formed by police who joined the civil disobedience movement last year, said they’ve launched a criminal investigation.
“As the BA is still in the area, we’re unable to investigate the village at the moment,” an officer explained. He said the BA killed four villagers in Loi Ying in Pekon Township on 27 February.
The KNDF spokesperson said: “They’ve committed human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings…We’re trying to protect civilians. And we’ll take revenge on the Burma Army for what they’ve done to the civilians.”
A massive BA offensive that began in Mobye in Pekon Township in mid-February has continued into Demawso Township.
According to the civil conflict data collection group Progressive Karenni People’s Force, the regime has killed 221 people since the fall of the democratic government just over a year ago.