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Fighting in Karen State intensifies; Five killed by artillery in Rohingya neighborhood of Sittwe

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Fighting in Karen State intensifies

Thailand has increased security along its border with Burma as fighting between the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) and the Burma Army continued in Thingannyinaung village of Myawaddy Township on Monday. The KNLA and People’s Defense Force (PDF) launched an attack on the Light Infantry Battalions 355 and 356 in Thingannyinaung on March 7. 

“Military troops deployed at the Alal Botae outpost along the Myawaddy-Kawkareik road abandoned it despite there not being any clashes. We cleared the outpost on Sunday,” said Ne Dah Htoo, the tactical commander of the Karen National Union (KNU) Brigade 6. 

Thousands of residents from Thingannyinaung and Maekane villages have been forced to flee to safe places along the Thaung Yin (Moei) river near the Thai border. Three civilians were killed, fifteen were injured and more than 40 homes were destroyed by retaliatory airstrikes and artillery shellings on March 8. 

Five killed by artillery in Rohingya neighborhood of Sittwe

At least five civilians were killed and more than 10 were injured by artillery when a shell landed in a Rohingya neighborhood in Sittwe on Saturday. The Burma Army accused the Arakan Army (AA) of firing artillery from Pauktaw Township.

Arakan State media in the capital reported that the artillery was fired from a military base. Burma Army personnel arrived in the neighborhood after the shelling and sent injured civilians to Sittwe hospital. “People were screaming and crying and we were afraid to go outside because of the curfew and power cut,” said a Sittwe resident. 

“There wasn’t any fighting between the military and the Arakan Army [in the area]. Yet, the Rohingya ward was shelled. Even the Rohingya in the capital city are not safe anymore,” said Ro Nay San Lwin, the co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition. 

Italy called on to investigate sanctioned crony’s daughter

Whistleblower group Justice for Myanmar (JFM) called on Italian authorities to investigate Rachel Tayza (aka Htoo Htwe Tay Za) over her role in her father Tay Za’s Htoo Group of Companies, a conglomerate sanctioned by the E.U., U.S., and U.K. for allegedly helping procure weapons for the Burma Army. 

“Rachel Tayza and her family have long aided and abetted the Myanmar military’s endless war crimes and crimes against humanity through Htoo Group of Companies and profited from the bloodshed of Myanmar people,” said Yadanar Maung, the JFM spokesperson.

French lawyers William Bourdon and Lily Ravon made a request to Italian authorities on March 4 to launch an investigation into Rachel Tayza, who lives in Italy, over her job as director of at least seven Htoo Group companies. They called on Italy to freeze her assets and deport her. Rachel Tayza was named in a U.S. sanctions list in January 2023. 

Weekly Cartoon: China’s crackdown on cyber scam centers along its border with Burma has pushed them to Shwe Kokko and Yangon.

News by Region

KARENNI—The Karenni Interim Executive Council (IEC) confirmed a third judge to its Supreme Court and its budget for 2024 during an online meeting on Monday. Twelve out of fifteen members of the Karenni State Interim Parliament attended the meeting. 

“We went through different levels of verifications, including from the Karenni State Consultative Council, before officially appointing another judge,” said Saw Eh Doh, the vice-chair of Karenni State Interim Parliament. Khu Poe Ral and Khun Mar were appointed to the IEC Supreme Court in December. The KSCC announced the establishment of the interim parliament on Nov. 17. 

MON—The Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM) stated that in the first week of March, seven people were killed and 22 were injured in southeastern Burma, including Tanintharyi Region and Karen State. Twenty-four people were arrested and 17 were detained out of the total 5,188 documented. 

HURFOM added that activists, including those with the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM), have been allegedly abducted with no information of their whereabouts. It claimed that a total of 464 have been killed and 1,337 have been injured in the region since the 2021 military coup.

SAGAING—Tigyaing residents said that most of the 60 people arrested by the Burma Army in Zeekone and Padaukhla villages on Feb. 1 have not yet been released but are being held in Tigyaing town. They were detained while returning to their homes after fighting between the PDF and the Burma Army halted.

“The Burma Army released some elders but continued to arrest many young people,” said a PDF member. Family members have been unable to reach those being held. The PDF claimed that more than 120 civilians were killed and 98 percent of Tigyaing has been destroyed by airstrikes since Nov. 10. 

Watch our latest: No Village No Home in Sagaing Region. DVB English News is on X, FB, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow our podcast on Spotify.

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