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March 2, 2024

Shelling of Kayah state camps kills 2, injures 4

A 70-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman were killed, and four others civilians were injured when junta artillery shells hit an internally displaced persons camp in Myanmar’s eastern Kayah state.

The army fired heavy artillery at the camp in Demoso township on Monday, according to Banyar, the director of the Karenni Human Rights Group.

Banyar – who goes by one name – said the woman died and two other civilians were injured when around 10 shells exploded in the camp in the west of the township.

He said the junta was deliberately targeting camps where people are sheltering after being forced to flee their homes due to Myanmar’s civil war.

“There was no fight at all yesterday but the junta forces were continuously firing heavy artillery and [shells were] landing in civilian areas, killing and injuring people,” Banyar told RFA.

“In the past two months the junta troops have been firing shells in the direction of the internally displaced persons camps.”

The remains of a shell which landed on a village in Demoso township, Kayah state on Feb. 27, 2023. Credit: Karenni National Defense Force

In a separate incident a man was killed and two injured when troops shelled a camp and villages in the eastern part of Demoso, according to a statement from the Karenni National Defense Force on Monday. It said the shelling was constant, damaging many houses in the villages.

RFA called junta spokesperson for Kayah state, Aung Win Oo, to get his comments on the two incidents but no one answered.

More than two thirds of the 296,000 people living in Kayah state have been forced to flee their homes due to fighting and insecurity in the two years since the military seized power from Myanmar’s democratically elected government, according to the Karenni Human Rights Group and other local organizations.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.

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