Myanmar Regime Troops Kill Six Civilians in Karen State Raid

By The Irrawaddy 14 January 2023

Myanmar junta soldiers killed six civilians in Karen State during a Friday raid, as well as looting and torching homes, according to the Kyainseikgyi People’s Administration, a body of the parallel National Unity Government.

Clashes broke out on Friday morning in Alae Village in Karen State’s Kyainseikgyi Township between military regime troops and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union, and allied People’s Defense Forces (PDF), according to the Karen Information Center, a local media outlet.

Junta soldiers used civilians as human shields while advancing, forcing the revolutionary forces to retreat initially. However, 10 regime soldiers including a battalion commander were killed in the battle, according to a statement from the Kyainseikgyi People’s Administration. The statement said that junta casualties will be confirmed by resistance forces at a later date.

The Irrawaddy was unable to reach the spokesperson of the Kyainseikgyi People’s Administration for confirmation of civilian casualties in Alae Village.

A spokesperson for White Dragon PDF confirmed the clash. “PDFs are fighting in that area,” he said.

The KNLA base in the area was seized and torched by regime forces, after KNLA fighters retreated to avoid civilian casualties, added the Kyainseikgyi People’s Administration.

On Thursday, three civilians from Tadaoo Village in Kyainseikgyi Township were injured by a regime artillery strike that also destroyed two houses.

Last week, KNLA and allied PDF fighters attacked three Myanmar military battalions in Kyainseikgyi, killing 45 junta soldiers. Two regime border bases were also captured in Kyainseikgyi last week.

Since December, some 16,335 residents of 22 villages in Kyainseikgyi have been forced to flee their homes because of fighting.