Shelling between rival Shan armed groups killed a villager and injured a woman and the couple’s two children in Mong Kung Township, southern Shan State.
After a shell struck their home in Koong Bao in Ho Khai village tract on October 4 at around 5pm, they were taken to Mong Kung hospital. One of the injured, a 30-year-old man, died the next morning from shrapnel in his abdomen. The wife of the deceased suffered injuries to her legs and the children were injured on their hands.
About 800 people from Koong Bao and Koong Leng fled and are staying at the Koong Zong Buddhist monastery in Pangkaytu. According to a volunteer, there’s not enough space for all 3,000 people in the monastery and some have to sleep in the back of a lorry, known as a Htawlagyi in the region. “These people need emergency assistance, especially food and plastic sheets,” the man told SHAN.
A villager from Koong Bao said: “We can hear artillery fire coming from Koong Zong Buddhist monastery… We’re afraid to return to their village as tensions are high between the two Shan forces in Mong Kung Township. Every day more people come to the camp (in the monastery).”
Fighting between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and the Shan State Progressive Party (SSPP) over territory in southern and northern Shan State has displaced thousands of civilians.
On Sunday, the RCSS released a statement calling for peace talks.
According to Major Sai Kham San, spokesperson for the RCSS, ”dialogue is the best way to resolve the problem between the two forces.” During the fighting, many Shan soldiers are killed and this causes great suffering in the community, he explained.
The SSPP issued its own counter-statement placing the blame on RCSS for peace talks failing to happen, claiming that they it had tried to meet with RCSS leaders for many years.
SHAN repeatedly tried to reach the SSPP spokesperson for comment, but he could not be reached.
The groups have been fighting in Mong Kung Township since 14 September.