Burma Army Shells Karen Villages – Civilians Wounded

The Burma Army fired shells into villages in Mutraw (Papun) in northern Karen State, on June 2, 2020. The indiscriminate shelling wounded two civilians from Wah Klo Htar village.

The Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion #410 under the Military Operation Command #8 was fighting with a Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) unit near Wah Klo Htar and Maw Law Klo villages in LuThaw Township, Mutraw District.

A villager who witnessed the shelling told Karen News that the two injured people had to be rushed to hospital.

“The Burma Army fired two artillery shells that landed in the village. Two villagers, a father and daughter were injured by shrapnel from the shelling. They were taken to Kamamaung hospital.”

The two injured villagers were identified as Saw Phan Po Kay, 52 and his daughter, Naw Mary, 16.

A health worker at Kamamaung Hospital (speaking on condition of anonymity) confirmed to Karen News two villagers injured by artillery shells were being treated at the hospital.

“The father and his daughter were injured by shrapnel. The father was hit on his leg and his daughter was hit on her arm. Luckily the wounds were not very life threatening, they have been discharged from hospital.”

A local KNLA spokesperson from its 5th Brigade said they had yet to received information from the frontlines and couldn’t comment on the incident. Karen News was unable to contact a spokesperson from the local Burma Army unit.

Villagers said fighting between frontline troops of KNLA’s 5th Brigade and Burma Army battalions are now regular and often result in civilians casualties and forced displacement of hundreds of villagers.

A KNU statement issued on 29 May, 2020 said during April and May, has seen increases of Burma Army troop sent to the area and there has also been more military operations around border areas of the KNLA’s 5th and 7th Brigades. The KNU statement said increased militarization by the Burma Army has forced more than 130 local villagers to flee from their homes.

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