Civilian Resistance Group Warns People Not to Use Myanmar Junta-Backed Airline
By The Irrawaddy 3 December 2021
The Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) has warned residents of Kayah State not to travel by air to and from Loikaw, the Kayah capital, as the Myanmar military is using the airport to deploy troops and weapons, making it a potential target for civilian resistance fighters.
Both passenger flights and military aircraft are now being used by the regime to bring in reinforcements and extra weapons to Kayah State, which is one of the country’s most restive regions where several armed resistance groups, including the KNDF and the Karenni Army (KA), are active.
The KNDF has also urged people not to use Myanmar National Airlines, the junta-controlled state carrier, because it generates revenue for the regime which is being used to oppress the people and to fund attacks on people’s defense forces rebelling against military rule.
People in Kayah in southeastern Myanmar have also been told to avoid traveling the Loikaw-Demoso-Bawlakhe Highway from Friday, as junta forces are using the road to deploy reinforcements and weapons and for operations against civilian resistance groups.
The KNDF and KA have previously used mines to ambush military convoys on the road. The KNDF said that they will close the highway indefinitely.
A series of intense firefights between military regime troops and a combined force of KNDF and KA fighters took place in Loikaw and Demoso townships between November 17 and 25, after junta forces renewed raids against people’s defense forces in the area. The KA is the armed wing of the Karenni National Progressive Party.
35 junta soldiers and four civilian resistance fighters were killed in the clashes, while several thousands residents from 30 villages along the Loikaw-Demoso Highway fled their homes due to the raids and junta shelling.
Armed resistance to military rule in Kayah State began in late May and has intensified over the last couple of months.
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