The three siblings died instantly when a heavy artillery shell landed in their village near the Karenni capital on Tuesday
By Myanmar Now
An artillery shell that landed in a village near the Kayah (Karenni) State capital Loikaw on Tuesday killed three siblings and injured their father and older sister, according to sources.
Two brothers, aged 7 and 10, and their sister, aged 12, died instantly when the shell detonated in the village of Le Htwel on Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Kayan Generation Youth, a local community group, told Myanmar Now.
Their father and 15-year-old sister also suffered unspecified injuries, he added.
The identities of the victims were not available at the time of reporting. Myanmar Now has not been able to contact members of the family directly.
Residents say they believe the shell was fired by a military unit stationed in the area.
Le Htwel, which is located in the Nwar La Woe village tract, is completely under the control of the military and has not seen any recent fighting, according to local resistance forces.
“It doesn’t matter if there is any fighting, they just fire artillery as they please,” an information officer for the Loikaw People’s Defence Force said, referring to troops based in the area.
“Sometimes shells fall near hospitals or camps for displaced villagers. Villages are also torched and bombed. That’s just the harsh reality right now,” he said.
Meanwhile, another village in neighbouring Demoso Township also came under attack on Tuesday, according to the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF).
Military jets bombed the village of Saung Du Lar at around 2am on Tuesday before opening fire with artillery at dawn, the KNDF said in a statement.
A church was destroyed and two rescue workers were injured in the artillery attack, the group said.
Large-scale attacks have been reported in many parts of Karenni State and neighbouring areas of southern Shan State in recent weeks.
Sources in Shan State’s Moebye Township told Myanmar Now that regime forces have been using fighter jets, helicopters, and heavy artillery to carry out massive assaults there since February 16.
Karenni defence forces claim that at least 104 junta soldiers and 40 resistance fighters have been killed in clashes over the past three weeks.
Civilians have also died in the conflict. Three people were killed in two villages near the town of Nan Mei Khon in Demoso Township on February 23 after regime forces opened fire from the air, local sources reported.
Bombs were also dropped near a hospital in Lo Bar Kho, another village in Demoso, on February 27, but no casualties were reported in that incident.
According to data compiled by Myanmar Now, a total of 16 civilians, including eight children, have been killed in recent weeks by artillery attacks and airstrikes carried out by the military in non-combat zones.
A total of 221 civilians have been killed by the military in Karenni State since it seized power in February of last year, according to the Progressive Karenni People’s Force, a local youth organisation.
Original Post: Myanmar Now