Military Council and BGF fired artillery every night in Bilin causing many houses to be damaged

TheMilitary Council and Border Guard Force (BGF) have been firing artillery every night in Bilin Township of Thaton District, an area controlled bythe1stBrigade oftheKaren National Union (KNU), causing many houses to be damaged or destroyed.

Locals claimed, “Thehilltop camp of BGF Commander Bo Maung Chit, based in KNU 5th Brigade’s Kamamaung area, kept up a continuous barrage of artillery fire On November 28 and 29, damaging many houses and some religious buildings inthevillages of Lay Kay, Min Saw, TaGae Long and Myit Kyo in Bilin township.

A local woman told KIC “They were firing two nights in a row. Last night about 9 artillery shells were fired.Thenight before that they shot about 8 rounds.

Thebarrages were launched fromthehill wheretheBGF camped in Kamamaung. Duringthefirstnight, houses were damaged in Lay Kay.On the next night, pagodas and stupas were hit in Min Saw village, as well as some artillery shells falling outside our village. Artillery shells landed and exploded into residential villages, damaging houses and religious buildings, as well as hitting farms and orchards, causing many losses, and local farmers.”

In this situation thelocals no longer dared to sleep in their villages, and were forced to take shelter and sleep inthenearby foothills and caves.

Military Council troops are stationed inthevillages of Lay Kay and Win Tar Pan in Bilin township, and tensions withthelocal Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) have escalated sincethebeginning of this year. AstheMilitary Council has often carried out airstrikes as well as indiscriminate artillery bombardments, locals are forced to abandon their villages and farms, and flee.

TheJunta’s fighter jets have also bombedtheheadquarters oftheKNU1stBrigade in To Tal Khee village of Bilin township around midnight on November 26, damaging some buildings.

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