Myanmar Junta Airstrikes Kill Three Civilians in Kayah State

By The Irrawaddy 24 March 2023

Myanmar regime airstrikes have killed three civilians in southeast Myanmar’s Kayah State, where junta forces have been attacking resistance strongholds since the beginning of March.

The civilians were killed, and five others injured, on Thursday after junta airstrikes hit a logging site near Wan Ba La Village in Kayah’s Bawlakhe Township, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group (KnHRG).

The bodies of two civilians killed by Thursday’s regime airstrike in Bawlakhe. (Photo: Bawlakhe PDF)

“Eight civilians were injured and three of them subsequently died,” said Ko Banya, the KnHRG spokesperson. Detailed information about the casualties is still unknown due to communication difficulties.

The regime launched the airstrikes without provocation, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defense Force (KNDF).

“There is no fighting in that area and we haven’t received detailed information yet, but we can confirm that the victims were civilians and that the airstrike happened at a logging site,” said the KNDF.

Regime soldiers are also launching indiscriminate artillery attacks on civilian areas elsewhere in Bawlakhe Township and also in Demoso Township, according to a local source.

“Artillery shells are raining over our village every day. I heard nearly 70 rounds of artillery fire within 30 minutes. Luckily, there were no casualties since most residents have already fled their homes”, he said.

On Thursday, junta forces and a combined force of resistance groups clashed fiercely near Daw Ta Ma Gyi village tract in eastern Demoso Township. Both sides are thought to have suffered casualties.

At least six Myanmar military detachments have been deployed in eastern Demoso alone, where fighting has been escalating since the beginning of March. Clashes are also ongoing in Pekon Township on the border of Shan and Kayah states.

Combined forces of the Karenni Army and KNDF have raided at least eight regime outposts since late 2022, according to the Karenni Military Information Centre.