Artillery Shelling Claims Lives of Civilians and Monks in Kyainseikgyi Township

In Kyainseikgyi Township, Karen State, intense fighting has been ongoing between the Revolutionary Forces and the troops of the Military Council since 1:00 a.m. on June 2. Residents report that civilians and monks have lost their lives as a result of the Military Council's airstrikes.

Following the fighting erupted near the Myo Ma police station, the 32nd Infantry Battalion of the Military Council launched 60 mm and 120 mm artillery shells from the camp, targeting the periphery of the town.

Furthermore, at approximately 8:00 am, three warplanes conducted bombing raids in the vicinity of Mingalar Kone, Kyarinn, Chaungwa villages, and the surrounding areas of the town. As a result, numerous houses were destroyed, and civilians lost their lives as reported by the residents.

“Houses in Ward No. 6 were struck. A child and 2 civilian men were killed by bullets in their homes. A novice in the Kannar monastery was also hit by bullets and passed away. The indiscriminate firing from the camp and warplanes throughout the town continues to pose a potential threat to the public,” a resident of Kyainseikgyi told KIC.

As a consequence of the ongoing conflict between the two factions, the majority of residents refrained from venturing outdoors until after 9:00 a.m. today. According to reports from residents, the military has stationed troops in various parts of the town, including the premises of the Military Council departments. Additionally, inspections are being conducted in these areas.

“I’ve been cautious about going out after 10 o’clock due to the ongoing sounds of artillery shells. The military council has deployed troops in the town, but there’s still no assistance or rescue efforts for the residents affected by gunfire and their damaged homes. It’s not safe to go out with soldiers present,” a Kyainseikgyi woman, seeking refuge in a trench, told KIC.

The town’s Military Council camp, as well as the areas under their guard, faced simultaneous attacks by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the joint revolutionary forces. According to residents, there is a likelihood of significant casualties on the side of the Military Council, while the revolutionary forces may also encounter losses. However, KIC has been unable to verify this information with officials from the respective forces at this time.

The residents of Kyainseikgyi Township have reported that they remain in hiding within their homes, facing difficulty in seeking refuge in safer locations. This challenge arises from the presence of Military Council troops, who continue to guard the entrances and exits of the township, obstructing their escape.

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