Friday, March 1, 2024

Regime Air Bombardments Killing Civilians, Destroying Properties in Hsihseng

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Civilians have been killed and injured in air attacks by the State Administration Council (SAC), which has also damaged monasteries and homes in Hsihseng Township with artillery and jet fighters, where resistance forces are clashing with the military regime.

The Pa-O National Liberation Army (PNLA), Karenni Nationalities Defense Force, and People’s Defense Force have engaged in multiple clashes with soldiers under SAC and the Pa-O National Organisation (PNO) since fighting kicked off last week.

The PNO transformed into a militia under the regime in 2009.

A volunteer helping people who have been displaced by the violence in the township said, “Shells landed in villages. A Buddhist monastery in Kawng Muu Bwa was damaged. Two Buddhist monasteries in Hsiheng town were damaged by an airstrike. It is mainly (SAC) airstrikes and artillery shelling that are destroying buildings in Hsihseng Township,” he told SHAN.

On Sunday, artillery fired by junta troops in Sike Khawng (also called Sike Khao) damaged at least six shops.

The Burma army attacked Hsihseng town with artillery. Therefore, at least 6 shops were burned by an artillery attack. “Shells landed in front of the Myoma market,” said an anonymous PNLA soldier who said the fires have since been extinguished. He said that SAC shelled at them for the entire day. “It’s better for people to seek shelter in safer areas. If possible, they should move to a little bit far from the town where clashes are intense.”

On January 22, a junta jet fighter attacked Nawng Htao (also Nawng Htaw), where the PNLA’s political wing, the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation (PNLO), maintains its headquarters. The airstrike injured a man and destroyed many buildings in the village.

Until recently, the PNLO that signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement wasn’t fighting the military regime.

According to documentation provided to SHAN, at least two civilians, including one woman, have been killed, and up to four wounded by SAC air bombardments between January 22 and January 28.

PNLA and its other resistance forces captured the Myoma police station and several SAC camps in the town of Hsihseng during a week-long operation in the township sharing the same name.

Despite capturing the town, the junta has been attacking the groups and the civilians who haven’t fled for safety.

“I still hear the sound of gunfire in Hsihseng town. The Burma army has continued to carry out airstrikes and artillery shelling,” a local man told SHAN on condition of anonymity.

Ongoing fighting along the Hsihseng – Loikaw road has trapped some civilians attempting to find shelter from the violence. A volunteer group has requested all the groups provide a corridor for the people to use to escape.

A week ago, a jet fighter attacked the village of Nawng Htao where no fighting was happening and the current clashes started.

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