The Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) demanded an explanation from the junta on why an airstrike – injuring two people and damaging two buildings – was carried out on the residence of DKBA Colonel Saw A Wan in Kyain Chaung village, Payathonzu (aka Three Pagodas Pass) Township, Karen State on Jan. 21. Three bombs landed in a housing compound belonging to Colonel Saw A Wan, according to DKBA spokesperson Colonel Saw Sein Win. Payathonzu Township is located in the Karen National Union (KNU) 6th Brigade, where clashes between forces led by the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and Burma Army have taken place. The DKBA told DVB that it had launched an investigation into the junta airstrike.
“We are still investigating the details of the motive of the attack. It is still unclear whether it was a mistake or intentional,” said Colonel Saw Sein Win. “Our group primarily maintains a policy of neutrality and also assists the Burma Army. In the same way, we communicate with the KNU as well.” Regime media has not commented on the airstrike. The DKBA signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) in October 2015. Following the 2021 coup, it has participated with several Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) in the junta’s “peace talks” in Naypyidaw. There have been reports that DKBA battalions have aided resistance forces fighting the Burma Army in Karen State since the coup.