A battle broke out this morning in Kawkareik between junta troops and the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), a Karen coalition forces commander told DVB. The firefight began at the number three gate of the Myawaddy-Kawkareik stretch of the Asian Highway, and spread to another area housing the junta’s administrative offices. The Karen National Union (KNU) stated that the attack on Kawkareik town was meant to wrest control of it from the junta.
“There have been around 20 air strikes. It has been four days since the clashes started along the Asian Highway,” KNLA Commander Saw Kyaw Thet told DVB. Junta troops are using its air force to strike fear in the heart of coalition forces led by the KNLA. Jet fighters were spotted, and captured on video, flying over residential areas of the town. According to reports, one man was killed and another three were injured by artillery. The police station’s jail was destroyed by an airstrike. Prisoners escaped. Fighting between the junta-backed Border Guard Force (BGF) and KNLA coalition forces broke out on Oct. 19. Since then, buses, cars and cargo trucks haven’t been allowed along the Myawaddy-Kawkareik highway.