Three local residents were killed and four sustained injuries in junta air and artillery strikes on villages in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Loikaw and Demoso townships on Thursday.
Military aircraft carried out an aerial attack on an internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camp near the village of Htee Hpoe Ka Loe on the Pon Creek in eastern Demoso Township, at around 7am. The attack injured two of the camp’s inhabitants and resulted in the death of one man in his 30s, according to a camp administrator.
“The patient was still alive when we saw him in the ambulance. He died from blood loss on the way to be treated,’ the camp administrator said.
One of the injured victims suffered a fractured femur and was in critical condition at the time of reporting.
Despite the lack of recent fighting in the area, the military also shelled the village of Saw Hki Daw, Loikaw Township using heavy artillery at around 10:30am, causing more civilian casualties, according to local sources.
Three shells exploded inside the village and a fourth fell on a nearby farm. A local man identified as Kuu Reh, 46, and a woman identified as Nyein Myar, 33, were killed.
The shelling injured another villager, reportedly a woman, and destroyed two houses in the village.
“The man died on arrival at the hospital and the woman died on the spot after the shell hit her house,” a local villager said.
The deceased man had been a member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), a military proxy, according to the villager, and unlikely to have been targeted by the military under normal circumstances.
“Everyone just fled in panic when they started firing heavy artillery. Many still haven’t returned home,” he added.
According to local sources, a junta force based near Moebye, a town in southern Shan State’s Pekon Township on the Shan-Karenni border, carried out the shelling. However, Myanmar Now has yet to independently confirm which military units fired the shells or from which direction.
Junta aircraft also reportedly carried out an attack in western Demoso Township early on Thursday morning, but there were no civilian fatalities reported. The village’s name was withheld out of concern for the inhabitants’ safety.
A local woman in her 30s told Myanmar Now that villagers were unable to reach nearby bunkers for shelter when the aircraft started the raid at around 4:30am. Although she was some distance from where the bombs fell, she said she could feel the impact when they exploded.
“They dropped the bombs just now,” the woman said, speaking moments after the attack. “They dropped them three times. It was raining at the time.”
According to records kept by the activist group Progressive Karenni People’s Force, as of August more than 370 local people have been killed in Karenni State since the February 2021 coup.