Fighting between resistance groups and the junta’s forces is intensifying near the border with Kayah State
A woman died and five others including children were injured as junta soldiers fired artillery shells at the town of Moebye in southern Shan State over the weekend, a local rescue group has said.
Sixty-year-old Mu Lawm was killed after sustaining a head injury from a shell while near her home in the town’s Si Kar 1 neighbourhood on Sunday, according to the Moebye Rescue Team.
And a 50-year-old woman named Daw Mei is in a critical condition after being injured by a shell explosion in the town, while two men aged 40 and 50 sustained minor injuries to their stomachs.
“I think they were just outside their houses when they got hit. The shells landed very close to their houses,” said a rescue worker.
A one-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy were also injured by a shell explosion in the town’s Si Kar 3 area at around 11am the same day.
The baby was injured in her right arm and the boy in his armpit but both were in a stable condition, the rescue worker said.
Junta soldiers from the 422nd Light Infantry Battalion began shelling the town from their base near the Moebye dam at around 8am, the rescue worker said.
“I think they were aiming at the PDFs and because the PDFs were hiding all over Moebye, they were just firing at random places in the township,” he said, referring to local People’s Defence Force fighters.
A Moebye local told Myanmar Now that several houses were also destroyed during the shelling, though the exact number was unclear.
“They were firing shells at random places in the hope of hitting the PDFs. They usually fire shells when they’re about to go somewhere and only start the journey when the PDF is gone,” said the local.
On Saturday evening, junta soldiers shelled the neighbouring town of Pekhon until the early hours of the following morning. The attacks came after the town’s PDF chapter killed five soldiers from the 336th Light Infantry Battalion and confiscated guns on Friday.
Pekhon, which borders Kayah State, is also home to the junta’s No. 7 Military Operation Command, as well as Light Infantry Battalions 336, 421 and 422.
The Karenni People’s Defence Force in Moebye has urged civilians to flee the area, saying fighting could break out with the junta’s forces at any time.
Over 140,000 people from eight townships fled fighting in Kayah between May and mid-October, according to the Karenni Civil Society Network.