Junta Airstrikes damage 17 Schools in KNU-controlled Areas

The Karen Education and Culture Department (KECD) reports that 17 schools in the Karen National Union (KNU) territory have been damaged by airstrikes conducted by the Military Council since the 2021 military coup, with these incidents occurring between 2021 and May 2023.

Padoh Saw Law Eh Moo, the head of the central department of the Karen Education and Culture Department (KECD), informed KIC Padoh Saw Law Eh Moo reported to KIC, saying, “A total of 17 schools have been damaged. In certain schools, three or four buildings were impacted. We have assessed the damage across all schools, not just individual buildings. Some schools have suffered irreparable damage, while others have experienced roof and door damage.”

He added that the majority of the damaged schools were located in Mutraw District, which falls under the territory of the KNU 5th Brigade, as well as Dooplaya District, which is part of the KNU 6th Brigade’s territory.

According to an education officer in Nyaunglebin district, which is under the territory of the Karen National Union (KNU), several schools in KNU-controlled areas are encountering major obstacles in resuming classes, due to the targeting of schools by the Military Council troops.

“It is currently the right time to reopen schools, but there is uncertainty regarding the reopening of some schools. The Military Council has been specifically targeting school buildings in villages. Whenever the Military Council troops enter a village, there are concerns about the safety of the school teachers,” he told KIC.

According to a report by the Karen National Union (KNU) on May 13, a total of 12 schools in KNU territory were damaged by airstrikes in the period of two years from 2021 to 2022 following the military coup. Additionally, three more schools suffered damage between January and April 2023.

According to KNU’s press release, the Military Council airstrikes and artillery shells have caused the destruction of school buildings and also six hospitals. Furthermore, over 400 civilian homes have been damaged, and more than 140 local people have lost their lives as a result of artillery attacks.

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