Kawkareik hit with fresh airstrikes as Kayin offensive continues

Kawkareik hit with fresh airstrikes as Kayin offensive continues

Over 2,500 people are said to have fled villages close to the Kayin State town of Kawkareik on Monday after the Burmese military launched ground and air attacks against the KNLA and PDF groups.

At least two homes in Phalulay village, located 11 miles south of the Thai-Burma border town of Myawaddy, are said to have burned down after being hit with shells fired from jets and armored vehicles. 

A KNLA member said that several people had been injured or killed as a result of the bombings. One day before, a man had died and five other civilians had been seriously injured after the army shelled positions to the southeast of Kawkareik.

500 of Phalulay’s residents are said to have fled across the border. A local source told DVB that a further 2,000 residents had been displaced following clashes to the south of Kawkareik city.

A source close to the Thai military told DVB that the Thai border guard had once again fired warning shots after artillery shells fired by troops in Kayin State exploded in Thailand. 

The attacks are a continuation of a military offensive in Kayin launched in mid-December which has seen tens of thousands of people displaced. The KNLA recently announced that it had temporarily withdrawn from the Lay Kay Kaw after the military bombarded the “peace village” from both the ground and the air. 

The National Unity Government’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration announced on Monday that an estimated 238 clashes occurred in Kayin State in the month from Dec. 7 to Jan. 6, the largest number across all of Burma.