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HomeBreakingKarenni State death toll rises since November offensive; Nationwide matriculation exams underway

Karenni State death toll rises since November offensive; Nationwide matriculation exams underway

FROM THE DVB NEWSROOM

Karenni State death toll rises since November offensive

At least 120 people have been killed and 200 have been injured in Karenni State since resistance forces launched Operation 1111 to wrest control of the capital Loikaw from the military on Nov. 11. Banyar, the second secretary of the Karenni Interim Executive Council (IEC), told DVB.

“We are in control of at least 65 percent of Loikaw already. We were able to capture some of the areas. But there is still daily fighting,” said Banyar. “I can say that at least 75 percent [of Karenni State] is [under] IEC or local administration. Up to 95 percent is controlled by our Karenni people.”

The IEC stated that there have been 350,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Karenni State since the 2021 military coup. Banyar added that this number includes those displaced from their homes from fighting in neighboring Pekon Township of Shan State. 

Nationwide matriculation exams underway

The regime’s Department of Myanmar Examinations announced that more than 128,000 students took the exam on Monday. The nationwide matriculation exam runs until March 19. A total of 146,523 students registered at 841 exam centers, but only 128,801 will sit the exam, according to the regime. 

“The number of students taking exams has declined because of the current crisis. The number of students from Arakan, Karenni, northern Shan, Sagaing and Magway have obviously declined,” said an unnamed source from the Department of Myanmar Examinations. 

No examination centers have been opened in Karenni State. Only 69 exam centers have opened in Arakan State. Mandalay Region has the highest number of students taking the exam with more than 19,000. Over 18,000 are sitting the exam in Yangon. Nearly one million students took the exam before 2021, but since the coup the number has declined each year.

Japan pledges more humanitarian aid to Burma

Japan’s Foreign Minister Yōko Kamikawa announced that $37 million USD in additional humanitarian aid will go to Burma. The funds will be distributed through the U.N. International Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

The humanitarian aid will include food, medicine and water, as well as access to education, medical services, and improved nutrition for pregnant women and infants. It will also go towards support for women human trafficking victims and Burma nationals residing in Thailand. 

Kamikawa added that her government will continue to stand with the people of Burma. Japan has provided a total of $109 million USD worth of aid to Burma via non-governmental organizations (NGOs) since 2021. 

News by Region

Three military personnel with their belongings on display after being arrested while shopping in Ohn Taw village on March 11 (Credit: PDF)

SAGAING—Three Burma Army personnel from the 6005 Tank Corps based in Sagaing Township were arrested by the People’s Defence Force (PDF) while shopping at a grocery store in Ohn Taw village on March 11.

“The three were arrested in civilian clothes,” said a PDF spokesperson. Sergeant Zin Myo Thein, Deputy Corporal Zaw Phyo Chit, and Corporal Kyaw Zin Tun were arrested by the PDF. Burma Army troops arrived after the arrest and searched everyone inside the grocery store.

KACHIN—Fighting between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Burma Army occurred in Akyal village of Myitkyina Township on March 12. “The military fired numerous artillery shells during the fighting,” said an Akyal resident. 

The village, located on the Myitkyina-Mogaung road near the Nampaung Air Force base, has more than 2,300 residents. The KIA began its attack on the base March 7. The Burma Army retaliated with artillery. Fighting continues in Waingmaw and Momauk townships. 

KAREN—The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) tactical commander Saw Neh Da Htoo said that the KNLA and the PDF will take control of the remaining Burma Army battalion headquarters in Thingannyinaung village of Myawaddy Township on March 12. “We will open all fronts and accelerate the speed of fighting to defeat them,” he added. 

A Myawaddy resident said that 2,000 people from Thingannyinaung, Maekane and Myasandi villages are now sheltering at monasteries. The KNLA detained two Burma Army troops when it took control of Phalu outpost on March 11. An unknown number of troops fled into Thailand.

MON—Kyaikto residents said two men were killed and one was injured after the Burma Army fired artillery at them while riding a motorcycle on a bridge in Thantada village, located between Kyaikto and Bilin townships, on March 11.  

“One of the men fell from the bridge,” said a Bilin resident. The Burma Army sent the two dead and one injured to Bilin Hospital. The relatives of the three victims said that they have been unable to collect their loved ones’ bodies or to visit with the injured man. 

Watch this interview with DVB’s Ole Chavannes. DVB English News is on X, Facebook, Instagram, Threads & TikTok. Subscribe to us on YouTube. Follow our podcast on Spotify.

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