Almost Daily battles and local resistance causes major increases in IDPs in Tanintharyi Township

In Tanintharyi Township, Tanintharyi Region, the numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) have risen sharply due to almost daily fighting between the Military Council troops and local People's Defense Forces, according to individuals assisting IDPs.

The Military Council has deployed approximately 150 troops for military operations In Tanintharyi Township ,where martial law has been declared since July 15 They have installed artillery in villages, and conduct indiscriminate firing while engaged in skirmishes with local People’s Defense Forces. As a result, the local population is being forced to flee the region to escape the escalating conflict and violence.

An individual closely assisting the IDPs shared, “Lately the frequency of the fighting has increased a lot. As a result five villages in this township and several neighboring ones have been forced to flee the ongoing war. Returning home has become extremely hazardous, due to the constant military bombardments. This has led to some IDPs are staying in tents within orchards, even enduring the rain. The situation is even worse in remote and inaccessible areas.”

Between July 15 and 18, there were more than 10 clashes in Tanintharyi Township. As a consequence of these conflicts, over 1,000 residents from five neighboring villages, including Thein Khun, Thea Phyu, and Chaung Hnit Pauk villages, were compelled to seek safety elsewhere, an individual assisting the IDPs said.

Officials from the local People’s Defense Force asserted that the Military Council’s ongoing military operations in the area are nothing more than a deceptive tactic, used to conceal the fact that their ability to control the region is declining.

“The continuous military operations conducted by the Military Council have resulted in a notable weakening of their control over the area, leading to deceptive tactics in their operations. Currently they are unable to keep control over townships as before, which explains the arrival of military reinforcements and operations. Previously, they primarily guarded military checkpoints and reinforced areas with ongoing battles, but now they are showcasing their ability to initiate military operations,” revealed a member of the local People’s Defense Force to KIC.

In Tanintharyi Township, residents regularly face prolonged and intense fighting, leading many to evacuate their homes in search of safety, and to escape the ongoing warfare. As per local news media reports, the Hton Khar-Maw Daung road, which had been closed for public safety due to military tensions in the region, was reopened on the morning of July 20.

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