According to a local villager, the fighting with the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) joint forces persisted in the villages of southern Kawkareik, including the villages of Kyondoe and Taungkyarinn. However there was no fighting reported in the villages of northern Kawkareik. The local villager further mentioned that Infantry Battalion 97 continuously launched artillery shells into the villages day, and night.
The villager declared “Villages have been targeted with artillery fire. I heard 4-5 artillery shells falling simultaneously, particularly targeting Sawhe, Hlaingsein, and Yankoke during the nights. The villagers stayed away from their homes, avoiding harm. However, many houses and farms have already been destroyed, around ten or twenty of them.
The situation has made it impossible for people to work or travel. This year the villagers were too scared to even plant their fields,” he said.
In the urban wards of Kawkareik township, the military carried out a series of arrests, detaining over 30 individuals, including businessmen, members of the Free Funeral Service Society, supporters of the NLD party, and protesters against the military. Residents reported that some officials of the Free Funeral Service Society and businessmen associated with the military were subsequently released.
A Kawkareik resident said, “I heard that a few people who were arrested and questioned, especially those connected to the military, have been set free. However the rest have not been released yet. After learning that arrests will continue, some people are taking precautions to avoid getting caught.”
According to residents, the relentless bombardment with artillery shells, which occurs every day and night, has been ongoing for several months. This situation is intended to discourage any attempts to launch attacks on the military-controlled areas within the town.
According to aid workers assisting internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Military Council troops and Border Guard Force (BGF) have imposed tighter restrictions on communication and trade in Kawkareik township. These measures have made the lives of around 10,000 people in the region ever more difficult, affecting their socio-economic well-being.