Kayah Civilians Urged to Dig Bomb Shelters Amid Myanmar Junta Airstrikes

By The Irrawaddy 18 January 2022

Civilians in Kayah State have been urged by the Karenni State Consultative Council (KSCC) to build bomb shelters to protect themselves after Myanmar’s junta bombed two displacement camps in the state on Monday, killing six people.

The KSCC was formed in April last year by elected lawmakers, representatives of political parties, ethnic armed organizations and civil society groups, including the long-standing Karenni National Progressive Party.

On Sunday evening, three medical volunteers were killed in airstrikes on Nann Mal Khon village in Demoso Township which did not follow any clashes with anti-regime forces, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF) resistance group.

It claimed the junta is specifically targeting civilians.

Early on Monday, a seven-year-old girl, an 18-year-old woman and a man in his 50s were killed when at least two junta helicopters bombed a displacement camp sheltering around 600 people in Hpruso Township.

“The regime is clearly murdering both innocent civilians and resistance fighters without any discrimination,” said the KSCC. “The regime is committing genocide and it will potentially increase in ferocity.”

The council said regime operations against innocent civilians, religious buildings and displacements camps in the state were increasing.

The KSCC advised people to dig shelters on hillsides which could not be seen from above and to hide if junta aircraft appeared.

It urged people to prepare snacks, water, painkillers, mobile phones, lighting, power banks, radios and some clothes and to listen out for airstrike warnings.

Repeated, indiscriminate airstrikes have been reported on resistance forces, civilians and residential areas in Demoso, Hpruso, Shadaw and Loikaw townships in Kayah State.

The junta has conducted at least eight airstrikes in the state from January 7-17, according to the KNDF.

Tens of thousands of residents have fled their homes.

Although airstrikes on civilian targets are prohibited under the Geneva Convention and international humanitarian laws, more than 35 airstrikes have been over 20 townships in Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin, Kachin, Shan, Kayah, Shan and Karen states since March last year.

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