Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation
May 30, 2023
Two women and a toddler killed, eighteen civilians injured by SAC airstrikes and shelling in Pekhon and Pinlaung townships
SAC airstrikes and shelling during fighting against local PDF forces from the last week of April to the last week of May in Pekhon and Pinlaung townships, southern Shan State, killed two women — including one about to give birth – and a three-year-old child, injured eighteen civilians, and damaged scores of houses.
On April 24, fighting broke out between the Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) and a SAC column from Mong Nawng-based MOC #2 patrolling to Salong North village in Pinlaung township.
On April 25, the SAC regime sent aircraft to bomb Saung Phui village in Pekhon township even though there was no fighting at the time. A bomb hit the Saung Phui village clinic, killing a pregnant woman who was about to give birth, and injuring three other civilians, including one medic.
On April 26, in the morning, heavy fighting broke out around Nyaung Wai quarter in Moebye town. After the fighting, at around 5 pm, SAC troops fired mortars into Moebye town from various directions: from the Pekhon LIB 336 base, from near the Moebye dam site, from the LIB 422 base and from a Loi Kaw artillery base. The shells hit residents’ houses and also landed on Nyaung Wai temple in Nyaung Wai quarter, where 60 IDPs were sheltering. The shrapnel hit and injured one monk from Pekhon who was taking refuge at the temple.
On April 27, shells fired by SAC troops in Pekhon landed in Taung Po Gyi village, Ku Yin village tract, Pekhon township, hitting a house and injuring four men inside: U San (aged 39), U Myo Min Kant (aged 31), U Aung Soe Moe (aged 36) and U Mya Ye (aged 52). They were taken to Loikaw hospital for medical treatment.
On May 2, at around 10 am, even though there was no fighting at the time, the SAC artillery base at Pekhon fired shells at Hla Ee village, Yee Noi village tract, Pekhon township. The shells hit five houses in the village, causing them to catch fire.
Between May 5 and May 8, the SAC regime launched at least 15 airstrikes along the border between Pekhon and Pinlaung townships, damaging at least 30 houses in the Salong South and Salong North villages and Yee Noi village tract in Pinlaung township. This included an airstrike on Lan Kaw village in Yee Noi village tract on May 6 at around 3 am, when there was no fighting, which injured three civilians, including a 10-year-old child, and damaged a Catholic church.
On May 27, at around 7 am, the SAC troops used a helicopter to drop 500 pound bombs on Nyaung Wai and Sey Kone quarters in Moebye town, injuring four civilians from Paw Oo and Nyaung Wai quarters and killing a 40-year-old woman from Paw Oo quarter. That evening, the SAC troops from LIB 422 shelled into Sikatone quarter, killing a three-year-old child. The airstrike and shelling damaged and set alight at least ten houses.
On May 28, at around 3 am, the SAC’s LIB 422 and Loi Kaw-based artillery battalion fired shells at IDP camps west of Moebye town, injuring two IDPs.
Currently, SAC troops from Mong Nawng-based MOC #2 and battalions under ID 66 are continuing to patrol in the area, and fighting is ongoing in Pinlaung and Pekhon townships. Due to the airstrikes and shelling, hundreds more local villagers have fled to take refuge in the jungle.
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