Indiscriminate SAC shelling kills one child, injures nine civilians in Loikaw township amid large-scale SAC troop reinforcement into Karenni State
During the past two weeks, SAC troops have continued indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes in civilian areas, which have killed one child and injured nine civilians in Loikaw township, and damaged buildings, including schools, in Loikaw and Mese townships. Heavy fighting has taken place east of the Salween River, on the border of Pasaung and Mese townships, with resistance forces blocking attempts by SAC troops to retake territories in southeast Karenni State. To back up existing forces, SAC has brought in large-scale reinforcements from Shan State – with a convoy of about 100 vehicles arriving at Loikaw on July 25.
On July 20, SAC troops patrolling from Moebye to Loikaw clashed with combined Karenni forces in Pada Nye village, Loikaw township. During the clash, SAC troops used some civilians as human shields and SAC’s Loikaw-based LIB 356 indiscriminately fired artillery shells into Pada Nye village, killing a 16-year-old boy, and injuring a woman and a man. On the same day, SAC troops indiscriminately shelled Khone Tar village in Loikaw township, injuring a child and a man.
On July 21, about 300 SAC troops patrolling into Kyotpan Nyo and Wan Aw villages east of the Salween river in Pasaung township, clashed with combined Karenni forces. During the clash, SAC sent fighter jets to drop bombs and fired artillery from Pasaung; SAC troops then torched more than 20 houses in Wan Aw village.
On July 23, the SAC indiscriminately fired artillery shells east of Moebye town, injuring two civilians. SAC also fired artillery from Loikaw while SAC troops were patrolling into Nwa La Boe village, Loikaw township, damaging a missionary school and forcing the villagers to flee into nearby jungle. On the same day, a fighter jet bombed around a SAC outpost at point 2888 near BP 9 on the Thai-Burma border, after which two helicopters landed at the outpost with supplies. On the same day, a SAC fighter jet bombed an IDP area near BP 13 at the Thai-Burma border, damaging some IDP shelters.
On July 24, SAC LIB 530 based at Loi Le Lay, Loikaw township, indiscriminately fired shells into Wan Khone village, injuring a 65-year-old man.
On July 25, SAC LIB 530 at Loi Le Lay again indiscriminately shelled Wan Khone village, injuring four civilians, including a pregnant woman and a child. On the same day, a SAC convoy of about 100 vehicles travelling from Shan State to Loikaw was ambushed by combined Karenni forces in Khone Tar and Warikaung Ku villages on the border between Pekhon and Loikaw townships; two vehicles were destroyed. Also on the same day, combined Karenni forces attacked SAC’s military training school no.14 in Pruso township, causing SAC to retaliate by firing more than 10 mortar shells into nearby villages.
On July 26, at 10 am, combined Karenni forces and SAC troops clashed in Kyotpan Nyo and Kyot Su villages on the border between Pasaung and Mese townships, east of the Salween River. After the clash, at midday, two SAC fighter jets bombed a nearby KNPLF outpost at the Khone Ha River east of the Salween and surrounding areas at 3 pm, damaging a school in Kyot Su village.
On July 27, combined Karenni forces attacked a temporary SAC outpost near Pasaung town, and seized some ammunition.
On July 28, SAC troops patrolling from Setdaung to Kaung Ei village, west of Pekhon town, were attacked by combined Karenni combined forces, including Pekhon PDF, KRU and Shan Drone Force. Fighting in this area from July 21 to 28 has left 20 SAC soldiers dead, including an officer of LIB 248.