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Arakan Army claims it rescued 100 civilians; Artillery attack in Laukkai kills four

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Arakan Army claims it rescued 100 civilians

The Arakan Army (AA) announced that it had rescued nearly 100 civilians and retook some positions lost to the military in Pauktaw Township, located outside of the Arakan State capital Sittwe, on Nov. 21.

Khaing Thukha, the AA spokesperson, said there are more than 100 civilians still needing to be rescued. Fighting between the AA and the military in Pauktaw Township began Nov 15.

“We were informed that the military captured 200 people as human shields in Pauktaw Township. This proves that the military is committing war crimes,” he said.

Artillery attack in Laukkai kills four

Four people were killed when an artillery shell hit a car in Laukkai, located in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone of northern Shan State on Nov. 22. The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) told DVB that the shell was fired by the military. 

“A small car was completely flattened. I believe they were heading back home. Their body parts are scattered,” a witness told DVB. The MNDAA announced that it had surrounded Laukkai and plans to seize it. Laukkai residents are trapped inside the town. 

Over 31,000 suspects handed to China

China’s Ministry of Public Security stated that over 31,000 people suspected of cyber scams have been handed over to Chinese authorities. Sixty-three people accused of being key members of cyber crime syndicates and another 1,531 fugitives were among the 31,000. 

Beijing has arrested Chinese suspected of being involved in cyber crimes in northern Burma since September. Regime spokesperson Zaw Min Tun reported that 2,059 Chinese nationals who had illegally entered Burma were repatriated to China from Oct. 31 to Nov. 20. 

Thai envoy calls for stakeholders to begin dialogue

Thailand’s ambassador to Burma, Mongkol Visitstump said that more of an effort is needed to solve Burma’s political crisis at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok on Nov. 21, the Bangkok Post reported.  

“It is necessary to restore peace in Myanmar through peace talks as soon as possible to help Myanmar and its people, which will also help prevent further problems that might spill into Thailand and other countries,” he added.  

News by Region

Loikaw residents flee the fighting between the military and Karenni forces on Nov. 19 (Credit: CJ)

KARENNI—Over 70 people have been killed and their homes damaged due airstrikes and artillery carried out on Loikaw. More than 30,000 have fled the city. Around 10,000 Loikaw residents remain. “We are stuck here because we can’t even afford the bus fare [to leave],” one resident told DVB. 

Loikaw residents claim the cost per person to  leave the city can cost up to 1.2 million kyat because of rising fuel prices. Telecommunications services were shut down in Loikaw on Nov. 22. 

The Karenni Nationalities Defence Force (KNDF) claimed on Nov. 20 that 204 employees of Loikaw University are now under the care of the Karenni State Interim Executive Council and will be reunited with their families. The university’s rector denied rumors that he was killed in a video message released by the KNDF.

BAGO—More than 32 veterans who attended a meeting at the Myanmar War Veterans Organization office in Pyay were detained by the military on Nov. 20. 

“One of them who was recovering from a stroke was released and the rest are being detained. Their families tried to find them but no one knows where they have been taken,” said a source close to one of the veteran’s families. The source added that the families are concerned the veterans will be sent to the frontline. 

SAGAING—The airport runway in Kale was destroyed by a drone strike on Nov. 21. “I don’t know exactly about the explosion but we’ve been told that flights will be suspended from Nov. 21-23,” said an unnamed employee working at the airport ticket office in Kale. 

A resistance group in Kale claimed that it intended to destroy a fighter jet parked in the airport with its drone but the bomb it dropped landed on the runway. The military deployed its troops around the town and airport following the attack.

YANGON—Residents across the city report that townships are becoming increasingly deserted in the evenings as rumors have been circulating that people have been kidnapped by the military. “Shops are closing early and our employees are also going home early,” said a business owner in South Okkalapa Township. 

(Unofficial rate: $1 USD = 3,400 kyat, Official rate: $1 USD = 2,100 kyat)

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