Military Council deploys air support as fighting intensifies in Mekaneilan village, Karen State

On April 19th, intense fighting erupted in the Kyauk Taung and Kyauk Me areas of Mekaneilan village, located in the southern part of Myawaddy Township in the Karen National Union (KNU) of the Dooplaya District. Following this, the Military Council summoned air assistance, locals said.

A local village woman informed KIC that the Military Council’s helicopter provided close air support on at least four occasions following intense clashes with local resistance forces in Mekaneilan since early morning.

“At approximately 6:00 AM, intense fighting erupted in the Kyauk Taung and Kyauk Me regions. About three hours later, the Military Council’s helicopter arrived to provide air support to ground troops. The final helicopter attack marked the end of the battle”, she said.

The villagers of Mekaneilan desire to return to their homes, but due to the ongoing intense fighting in and around the village, they are hesitant to do so and opt to continue fleeing to seek safety, another villager admitted.

“Several villagers, who displayed courage, returned to the village. However, some were reluctant to do so, fearing that the fighting could resume at any moment. It’s worth noting that the Military Council compiled a list of all the individuals who returned to the village, including their photographs and personal details”, he added.

On April 18th, Cobra Column II under the leadership of Bo Dar Baw, and Venom Column engaged with a group of Military Council troops who were disguised as KNU soldiers and heading towards Mekaneilan village. As a result of the encounter, two Military Council soldiers were killed, and two firearms were confiscated by the Venom Column.

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