Fighting Happening in All of KNU’s Seven Brigades

By Network Media Group
Saturday, April 10, 2021

Burma Army fought with Karen National Union (KNU) more than 200 times since the military regime overthrew the democratically elected government over two months ago, with clashes breaking out in all of KNU’s seven regions, according to a statement by the ethnic armed organization.

“People are living in fear” following Burma Army airstrikes and artillery attacks, the statement said. Hostilities displaced over 30,000 villagers, including those who fled shelling by the Burma Army in the last several months.

From March 27 to April 1, Burma Army launched 15 airstrikes in 9 locations, killing at least 19 people and injuring at least 27, according to information provided by KNU and Karen Peace Support Network (KPSN).

“We don’t have much food except a little rice. We have to sleep in the rain because we don’t have shelter. We do not have netting so we are being bitten by mosquitoes,” said a Karen villager who fled fighting in Day Bu Noh in a video provided by KPSN.

Airstrikes in the village destroyed homes, the hospital and the high school. Daw Goo Hta High School in Ler Htoo Poe village was also struck during attacks, as well as many other homes and buildings in villages located in KNU controlled territories.

Over 2,000 Karen villagers who sought refuge in Thailand from the fighting were sent back over the border by Thai soldiers. Civilians are sleeping in the jungle while support groups try to deliver aid.

Padoh Saw Listan, secretary for Dupalya District, told NMG fighting was breaking between KNU Brigade 6 (Battalion 16) and Tatmadaw near the village of Hawngkaw. “Our troops shot at the Burma Army after they entered our controlled area without reporting to us.”

With both armed groups sending reinforcements to the conflict areas, KNU officials expect fighting will increase.

Since the February 1 coup, fighting erupted in Thaton (Brigade 1), Taungoo (Brigade 2), Nyaung Lay Pin (Brigade 3), Myeik-Dawei (Brigade 4), Mutraw (Brigade 5), Dupalya (Brigade 6) and Hpa-An (Brigade 7) districts, according to the statement.