Artillery types

Three civilians killed by artillery shell as Magway villages come under heavy fire

More than 20,000 civilians from Moebye and Pekhon townships in southern Shan State were recently forced to flee their homes due to ongoing military aggression along the border with Karenni State ( Kayah), several residents said.

About half of the displaced people came from about 20 villages along the eastern shores of Lake Pekhon.

Communities were affected by indiscriminate shelling by the Myanmar army in retaliation for an attack by the resistance force on a junta outpost in nearby Hti Ri village of Nyaungshwe township on May 12. The post was shared by regime forces and members of the Pa-O National Army.

On Tuesday, another 10,000 people were forced from their homes in five wards of Moebye town, which sits opposite two villages hit by military shells – Tsi Mi Lawt and Nyaung Pin Thar – the Kayan Rescue Committee reported. .

Junta troops from Nyaung Shwe base occupied a hill 13 km away in Pekhon township, just east of Saung Nang Khae village, which they set on fire on Monday. Residents reportedly fled when the fires broke out.

The following day, a resident of nearby Loi Pann Sone village in Pekhon said junta shells fired at the community injured two young men – aged 16 and 18 – and destroyed a monastery and a house.

Some 200 displaced people who had taken refuge in Loi Pann Sone at the time of Tuesday morning’s attack fled with around 500 residents to Shan State’s capital, Taunggyi, as well as communities along Inle Lake. and to other parts of Pekhon Township. , said the villager of Loi Pann Sone.

“There is no one left in the village. My father and I are the only ones staying nearby. We didn’t want to go far like the others,” he told Myanmar Now. “People could only bring food and water when they were fleeing. They couldn’t bring anything else.

He said he feared that Loi Pann Sone would be destroyed in the same way as Saung Nang Khae.

“The only thing that worries me is that the army will set fire to the village. Firing heavy artillery shells means they clear the way for their columns, so we don’t know what they will do next,” he explained.

Mu Muu, a member of the Kayan Rescue Committee, said civilians fleeing Moebye also had no time to prepare and bring their belongings before fleeing, fearing that shells that hit nearby villages would strike. also the city.

“They couldn’t even bring enough food because they had to flee in a hurry. They currently need more food, as well as waterproof tarps to use as shelter when it rains,” Mu Muu said.

As battles have frequently broken out near Moebye since the February 2021 coup, residents have had to leave their homes on several occasions, she said, but added that they usually return when there is a break in the fighting.

Mu Muu said she did not know if or when those who recently fled might return, but if they were displaced for a longer period, the existing humanitarian needs in the area would continue to grow.

“People in rural areas no longer want to be displaced again because they have already had to move so many times. They have hardly any place left to run either,” she told Myanmar Now.

A member of the anti-junta Karenni Nationalities Defense Force said on Wednesday that fighting had been ongoing with a junta column south of Pekhon Lake for two days.

According to a report by the Karenni Civil Society Network released on May 11, around 197,000 people in the Karenni state have been displaced since the coup.

Junta troops from Nyaung Shwe base occupied a hill 13 km away in Pekhon township, just east of Saung Nang Khae village, which they set on fire on Monday. Residents reportedly fled when the fires broke out.

The next day, a resident of nearby Lwe Pan Khone village in Pekhon said junta shells fired at the community injured two young men – aged 16 and 18 – and destroyed a monastery and a house.

Some 200 displaced people who had taken refuge in Lwe Pan Khone at the time of Tuesday morning’s attack fled with about 500 residents to Shan State’s capital, Taunggyi, as well as communities along Inle Lake. and to other parts of Pekhon Township. , said the villager of Lwe Pan Khone.

“There is no one left in the village. My father and I are the only ones staying nearby. We didn’t want to go far like the others,” he told Myanmar Now. “People could only bring food and water when they were fleeing. They couldn’t bring anything else.

He said he feared that Lwe Pan Khone would be destroyed in the same way as Saung Nang Khae.

“The only thing that worries me is that the army will set fire to the village. Firing heavy artillery shells means they clear the way for their columns, so we don’t know what they will do next,” he explained.

Mu Muu, a member of the Kayan Rescue Committee, said civilians fleeing Moebye also had no time to prepare and bring their belongings before fleeing, fearing that shells that hit nearby villages would strike. also the city.

“They couldn’t even bring enough food because they had to flee in a hurry. They currently need more food, as well as waterproof tarps to use as shelter when it rains,” Mu Muu said.

As battles have frequently broken out near Moebye since the February 2021 coup, residents have had to leave their homes on several occasions, she said, but added that they usually return when there is a break in the fighting.

Mu Muu said she did not know if or when those who recently fled might return, but if they were displaced for a longer period, the existing humanitarian needs in the area would continue to grow.

“People in rural areas no longer want to be displaced again because they have already had to move so many times. They have hardly any place left to run either,” she told Myanmar Now.

A member of the anti-junta Karenni Nationalities Defense Force said on Wednesday that fighting had been ongoing with a junta column south of Pekhon Lake for two days.

According to a report by the Karenni Civil Society Network released on May 11, around 197,000 people in the Karenni state have been displaced since the coup.

Residents and resistance fighters say junta troops positioned on a nearby hill burned down a village of 55 households on Lake Pekhon