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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Radio Free Asia

Junta shelling kills 3 locals, forces over 1,000 to flee homes in Kayin State

Troops have been bombarding a village in Myanmar's Kawkareik township for 3 days.

By RFA Burmese 2022.12.22 -- A 61-year-old man died Thursday when a junta shell landed on a village in Kayin State's Kawkareik township, locals told RFA.

Residents said more than 1,000 people have fled Kawt Nwe village since an artillery bombardment started on Dec. 20, killing a woman on Tuesday and a man the following day.

Kawt Nwe is three miles (4.8 kilometers) away from Ta Dar Kyoe village where junta troops have been fighting the Karenni National Liberation Army (KNLA) and People's Defense Forces since Dec. 16.

"Civilian deaths are almost daily," said a resident who wished to remain anonymous for safety reasons.

"Most of the dead are from Kawt Nwe village, which is close to the fighting. Most of them died when shells landed on their houses."

The Myawaddy-Kawkareik Asia Highway was closed on Thursday morning as fighting intensified, the local told RFA.

The junta has not issued a statement on the fighting and calls to Saw Khin Maung Myint, the junta spokesman and economic minister for Kayin state, went unanswered.

The KNLA is the military wing of the Karen National Union (KNU) which represents ethnic Karen in Myanmar.

According to data from KNU Central, there have been nearly 7,000 battles between junta troops and the KNLA in KNU controlled areas of Kayin and Mon States, and Bago and Tanintharyi regions since the military seized power in a Feb. 1, 2021 coup.

More than 91,100 people have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) after being forced to flee their homes due to fighting in Kayin State that predates the coup, according to a United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) report on Wednesday.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Written in English by Mike Firn.

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