Civilians Flee SAC Bombardments in Hsihseng Township

By Network Media Group
Sunday, January 28, 2024

Civilians in the Pa-O Self-administered Zone are fleeing airstrikes and artillery attacks by the State Administration Council (SAC) in southern Shan State.

Last week, the regime used a jet fighter to bomb around the town of Nawng Htao (also Nawng Htaw), where no fighting was reported, killing two civilians in the village of Kalar Lam. The junta has also indiscriminately fired artillery at Hsihseng Township, where the town is situated.

Some of the people who fled SAC’s attacks are long-time residents from the area, but many are actually Karenni internally displaced persons (IDPs) who escaped violence in Loikaw and other regions located in Karenni State.

”We are afraid to return home,” said a local man. When the jet fighter appeared on the horizon, he told NMG that they rushed to get away from the area and couldn’t bring anything with them. ”The earth shook when a bomb hit the ground.” The man heard that several homes were damaged but couldn’t say how many. For now, it is not possible for the man and his family to return home.

Other reports from locals indicate that at least five homes have been destroyed.

There are over 2,000 people who have recently fled the attacks, including many Karenni IDPs. Over 1,000 are in Nawng Htao and the surrounding area. Some are staying in the town of Hsai Hkao, and others are at Buddhist monasteries or with relatives in Hsihseng town. All of them urgently need humanitarian aid.

A week ago, clashes broke out between the Pa-O National Liberation Organisation/Pa-O National Liberation Army, which is under the command of Khun Okker, and SAC forces, supported by the Pa-O National Organisation, in San Hpu (also called Lon Hee) and around Mel Nel Hill in Hopong Township. Artillery shelling has reportedly destroyed civilian housing.