Elderly Man, IDP Killed as Myanmar Junta Rains Shells on Kayah Communities  

By NORA 28 February 2023

An elderly man was among two civilians killed when regime forces launched artillery strikes on communities in Kayah State on Monday.

Junta troops bombarded communities around camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in eastern and western Demoso Township and neighboring Hpruso township, according to local sources.

The indiscriminate shelling also injured four civilians.

Ko Banya, spokesperson for the Karenni Human Rights Group (KNHRG), confirmed that an elderly man was among the fatalities.

“Dawtamagyi village tract and Hteehpoekaloe village tract in east Demoso Township were targeted by about 15 rounds of 120mm artillery shells yesterday morning at around 11 am. The explosions killed a 70-year-old man and injured two residents of Dawtamagyi village tract,” he said.

He added that junta forces had launched at least four artillery attacks in the area on Monday.

“Regime troops also shelled west Demoso Township from 7.30 to 8.30 pm. The attack killed a 30-year-old IDP woman and injured two other IDPs.”

East Hpruso township was also shelled by junta artillery but no casualties were reported.

The artillery attacks were reportedly conducted by Myanmar Light Infantry Battalion 102 based in Ngwe Taung, Demoso Township and at the No 14 Military training school in Hpruso township.

Regime troops have been shelling civilian areas in the townships frequently despite not being confronted by local resistance forces, Ko Banya said.

“There is currently no fighting in the areas which were hit by junta artillery shells. As far as I know, clashes are ongoing on Kayah’s border in the townships of Pinlaung and Pekon in southern Shan State,” he said.

Junta troops have escalated their attacks on civilian targets in strongholds of resistance forces in Kayah State since late 2022. They conducted over 150 airstrikes and artillery bombardments of resistance forces and civilian targets last year, according to the local anti-regime Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).

It said the regime killed 293 civilians in Kayah State last year, while another 126 died fleeing their homes.