Residents Demand Military Council Troops Must Leave School and Monastery

On September 29, residents staged a protest, demanding the withdrawal of Military Council troops who had stationed themselves at a school and monastery in Taung Kyar Inn Village, Kyondoe Township, located in the Dooplaya District within the territory of the Karen National Union (KNU) 6th Brigade.

Junta troops have been stationed at the Taung Kyar Inn school for nearly 2 years and there are currently approximately 70 more troops positioned in both the village monastery and the village itself. This has left the local residents too frightened to continue residing in the village, forcing the entire community to flee.

This has led to more than 40 local residents from villages like Taung Kyar Inn, Laung Kaing, and Hpar Kya coming together to demand the withdrawal of these troops, according to a local resident.

“In the beginning, the soldiers were stationed in the school, and the children went to the monastery to study. However now the children are unable to study. They are stationed all over the place, so no one dares to return to the village. The presence of the soldiers is increasing,” the local resident informed KIC.

On September 28, the KNU Dooplaya district reported that during a 6-day battle from September 22 to September 26 between the Military Council troops stationed in Kyar Inn village and the KNU 6th brigade, KNDO 6th battalion, and joint revolutionary forces, 32 Military Council troops were killed, and 6 were wounded.

The Military Council’s Artillery Battalion in Kawkareik Township has also frequently fired artillery shells at Taung Kyar Inn and Naung Talar villages, resulting in civilian casualties and damage to religious buildings and homes.

Local residents have reported to KIC that the Military Council troops stationed in the village have been carrying out burglaries on homes, and stealing property, including religious items from the monastery.

Local residents have revealed that the Military Council troops stationed within the Taung Kyar Inn school have employed bulldozers to destroy and block the roads connecting the villages. Furthermore, the Haungthayaw bridge has been closed to traffic, resulting in increased hardship for the residents, particularly in terms of travel and their overall livelihoods.

Local residents have reported that the Military Council has stationed over 100 troops from Light Infantry Battalion 546, Infantry Battalion 230, and Infantry Battalion 208 at various locations, including the Taung Kyar Inn village school, monastery, and the Dat Laung mountain in Myauk Kyar Inn village.

A KNDO official commented, “ “Recently there was a skirmish, but at present, there is no active fighting. Military council troops are conducting patrols in the villages. If they advance further, we engage them, and they typically reach only as far as the Taung Kyar Inn hospital before retreating,”

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