A resident of southern Kawkareik told KIC, “”Our village is suffering daily shelling. The Junta relentlessly targets us with artillery, both during the day and occasionally at night. Regrettably, our village houses have been struck by artillery rounds, causing destruction and loss of livestock. The constant barrage of artillery has shattered our sense of safety, leaving us in a perpetual state of fear. We experience anywhere between 4 to 10 artillery rounds a day, making every moment uncertain and unsettling. Despite the prevailing fear, our resilient villagers persevere, striving to sustain their livelihoods amidst these challenging circumstances”,
According to KNU’s statement, the Military Council conducted a staggering total of 184 artillery rounds and 31 airstrikes in the Dooplaya District of the 6th Brigade of the Karen National Union (KNU) during the month of April alone
The 97th Light Infantry Division stationed in the vicinity of Kawkareik, along with the 231st Light Infantry Division under the 12th Commanding Office, have been indiscriminately launching artillery attacks on residential areas. The Karen National Union (KNU) has explicitly stated that these deliberate shelling incidents targeting civilian neighborhoods constitute war crimes.
Due to the frequent artillery rounds unleashed by the Military Council, local residents in several villages within Kawkareik Township, such as Yankoke and Kyaungsharkone, find themselves unable to continue their farming activities out of fear for their safety. The relentless explosions near residential areas have created an atmosphere of apprehension and insecurity, compelling some villagers to relocate to alternative regions where they can resume their farming endeavors.
Furthermore, on May 13th and 14th, the Military Council resorted to using bulldozers to deliberately destroy the access routes leading to Kawkareik town, affecting crucial roads including Kamaingkone, Myayni, and Kyaikdon roads, as well as sections of the Kawkareik-Kyainseikgyi highway near Taungkyarinn village.
As a result of relentless attacks immense destruction has occurred including damage to 387 buildings, comprising religious structures, clinics, schools, and residential homes. Among them, a devastating 12 buildings were completely reduced to ashes.