In May, the farms, fields, and villages of Karenni State and southern Shan State continued to be battlegrounds as the Burma Army maintained its campaign to dominate and devastate the lives and homes of the people of Burma. This month, one hospital and two clinics were damaged in airstrikes, in addition to multiple civilian homes. The regular use of airstrikes and strafing from the air and ground artillery on civilian targets means the people living in these areas are in a constant flux of displacement. In May, Ranger teams reported six civilians were wounded and six killed. The local resistance forces have combined with People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) in attempts to push back the military and protect the people, with very little outside support.
FBR teams are active at the front, providing medical care and evacuation of those who need it. On 18 May, while evacuating wounded during a battle, one Ranger, Maung Francisco Jarjam, was killed by a Burma Army drone attack (see report here).
The FBR teams also provide relief and support in between battles. On 13 May, they provided a Good Life Club program at an IDP camp with 431 people. The families there had been displaced four times since the fighting came to their area: the Burma Army doesn’t stop at pushing people out of their villages, it also chases them out of the IDP camps they’ve fled to. Additionally, the teams provided medicine and supplies to several clinics in the area.
Below is the log of Burma Army activity from the FBR teams operating in Karenni and southern Shan State.
2 May 2023, 1100: Burma Army at Pekon, southern Shan State near the Shan/Karenni border, fired four mortars on the western side of Pekon; most of the villagers from Hanbu Village, located in the same area, fled.
5 May 2023, South SaLone Village, Pekon Township, southern Shan State: In the early morning, from 0430 to 0720, two Burma Army fighter jets attacked, bombing 10 times over the village. One house was struck and burned down and two people were injured.
8 May 2023, near SaLone Village: On the morning of 8 May, the joint force of Karenni National Defense Force (KNDF) and the People’s Defense Force (PDF) attacked a Burma Army position between North and South SaLone villages. In response, the Burma Army conducted two bombing runs.
9-10 May 2023, South SaLone Village: The Burma Army launched an air attack, starting on the evening of 9 May and continuing throughout the day of 10 May. In the evening of 9May, starting at 2200, Burma Army attack jets dropped four bombs near two clinics in South SaLone, damaging or destroying both clinics and 11 other civilian homes nearby. The following day, beginning at 1100 and continuing through 1700, the Burma Army dropped at least 10 more bombs, damaging a pagoda in the village.
17 May 2023: In Daw Lyar Khu Village, East Demoso, Karenni State, at 0330, the Burma Army bombed and strafed the village. Many buildings were damaged but no one was injured.
Also on 17 May, in Bawlake Township, the Burma Army dropped bombs on Saw Lon Village, killing a young woman and injuring a 50-year-old man; six houses were damaged. The attack occurred at 0400.
18-19 May 2023, Hta Ne Lar Leh Village, East Demoso, Karenni State: during a battle with resistance forces, the Burma Army used three fighter jets to bomb and strafe the area; Infantry Battalion 102 also attacked with mortars. On 18 May, while helping care for and evacuate wounded from this battle, Ranger Maung Francisco Jarja was killed by a Burma Army drone attack (see full report here).
The next day, as the FBR teams and resistance were cleaning up the area of the battle, one Burma Army soldier surrendered to them, bringing with him six guns and other supplies. The Ranger team evacuated him from the front line and treated his injury.
20 May 2023, Spring Hospital in Boe Lyar Village, Karenni State: At 0630, the Burma Army used fighter jets to attack the hospital twice. One person, visiting a patient, was injured and four buildings were damaged. The FBR team nearby helped transport the person wounded in the bombing, as well as evacuating patients and doctors at the hospital, to a safe area.
Also on 20 May, in Daw Lyar Khu Village of East Demoso in Karenni, the Burma Army bombed in the evening, damaging two houses and burning down one.
27 May 2023, La Thein Village: The Burma Army bombed a casualty collection point (CCP), killing two women and two men.
29 May 2023: In Loi Lin, around 0900, there was a random fire from the Burma Army, Battalion 530. As a result, the villagers from Kone Mi Village, Htee Se Khan Group, were injured. One of them, the elder son named Mg Tun Lin was hit around the head and shoulders and he is in critical condition; the younger son was injured in the arm. Some houses were also destroyed.
Thank you and God Bless you,
Free Burma Rangers