Military Council’s shelling into town areas force Thandaung residents to flee

The Military Council fired artillery into the town of Thandaung in Karen State on January 27th, forcing residents to flee fearing for their lives, locals said.

On the morning of January 27th, the People’s Defense Forces in Thandaung attacked the Military Council’s Leik Tho-based encampment, killing a battalion commander. After that incident, the Military Council fired artillery at the city area in retaliation.

“At the moment, almost everyone in the entire town had to flee. The number of people remaining in the city’s neighborhoods is very small.

Because their battalion commander was dead, they reacted by shelling in anger. My friend’s house was also hit by artillery. The roofs of some houses were torn off, but no injuries were reported”, a woman from Thandaung told KIC.

On that day, the Military Council troops fired guns into the air aimlessly in the town, rampaged, destroyed street lamps, shouted and cursed near the town church. Furthermore, some locals were arrested before the artillery bombardments started.

“They stormed into the city because their battalion commander had been killed. They also shot guns into the air. They smashed the phones of young people returning from a wedding reception at the church. Some young people were forced to be prone on the street and were threatened with guns pointed at their heads. They also destroyed streetlamps because they didn’t want the light to go on. I think they want to deploy watchmen at night”, another resident said.

The now slain battalion commander treated the locals rudely and threatened them, as well as ordering searches, arrests and tortures especially targeting the young people, causing the public to live in fear.

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