KNU announces 8-day closure of Kyainseikgyi-Payathonzu Road due to fierce fighting

The Karen National Union (KNU) announced that the road connecting Kyainseikgyi and Payathonzu will be closed for 8 days from January 16th to 23rd, due to the fierce fighting between the Military Council and local Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) joint forces.

“Currently, the military situation between the two sides located in Kyainseikgyi township in Dooplaya district, territory of KNU’s 6th Brigade is still tense. We also hear that they are planning to switch from defense to attack at the moment. That’s why they have instructed the public not to venture out in such a situation, as there is a risk of being hit by artillery shells”, a local, who wanted to remain anonymous told KIC.

As of January 16th, there had been no fighting yet, but Kyainseikgyi-Payathonzu Road was empty after the KNU issued a warning.

In the past few days, Military Council troops invaded Thamin Hle village in Kyainseikgyi township, arrested and questioned at least 10 local men.Some villagers of Lay Kone village have been arrested and interrogated too, according to locals.

A woman from Thamin Hle village who did not want to be named, said that “ The regime’s troops had been detained to be deployed for use as human shields.”

The soldiers also burglarized houses of fleeing villagers, stole valuables and set two houses on fire.

“A few days ago, the Military Council troops arrested about 10 men from the village. At night, they entered houses in the village and vandalized them. They even took away the donations. They looted about 40-lakh kyats. And they shot dead and ate the chickens and pigs in the village”, she told KIC.

“The fighting had been intense in the past few days, and the battles in the region might continue as the Military Council maybe are planning to move in with massive force now” she commented regarding the KNU’s warning statement.

Fighting has been continuous in Kyainseikgyi from the end of December until January 15th. Currently, tens of thousands of residents are fleeing their homes due to the ongoing military tension and the possibility of further fighting, according to local news sources.

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