More than 1,000 villagers from about 400 families fled intense fighting between Shan armies, embroiled in a long-running conflict over territory, after they began shelling each other in Mong Kung Township, southern Shan State, on Wednesday.
On a moment’s notice, they ran from their homes in Ham Ngai village tract to escape the morning shelling and have taken very little with them, a volunteer told SHAN. The person is trying to find warm clothes, blankets and medicine for those who have come down with a cold or flu.
Villagers from Phar Larm, Koong Kham, Wan Paik Ner Moon and Wan Pan Nawng , Wan Ner Hpouk are staying at the Buddhist monastery in Wang Mueng, which already houses those who fled earlier violence in the area.
One man told SHAN that they were supposed to be harvesting their maize fields and asked the Shan armed groups to be considerate of the livelihoods of local people.
More than 200 people displaced by the fighting between Restoration Council of Shan State and Shan State Progress Party in Pang Kay Tu village in the same township two months ago are still unable to return home.
The conflict has also caused the displacement of thousands of villagers in northern Shan State.