Burmese junta bombs villages in Hpakant township
According to a report by Burma now, artillery shells were fired at the villages of Hkum Tsai Zup and Gaw Lu Yang in Hpakant township in Myanmar by the junta armed forces stationed in Nam Ya on Monday afternoon at around 1 p.m. According to volunteers helping internally displaced persons (IDPs), one of the shells exploded near Hkum Tsai Zup church while another hit an area near Gaw Lu Yang.
According to the report, more than 200 residents were forced to flee their homes after the military shelling and had to take refuge in the nearby village of Seng Hpra. It was the second time that the villagers had to flee in a week after a military bombardment on July 15, which left six people injured. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) ambushed military forces near Gaw Lu Yang on July 15 and 16.
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La Htoi, head of the Hpakant-based IDP Support Committee, said during her trip to Myanmar Now: âThere was no battle, but the soldiers stationed in Nam Ya fired the shells. We do not yet know the reason for sure. Maybe they’re trying to clear the area.
âAt the time of reporting, around 200 people from the villages of Tada Nyi Naung, Gaw Lu Yang and Hkum Tsai Zup were living in the Seng Hpra church, the children’s development center and with relatives. There are supplies that have been donated by the congregation. Some villages also donated a few bags of rice. This is what we live on. Added La Htoi.
The army ordered a meeting with local administrators in Hpakant on Monday morning and threatened to launch artillery strikes on their villages if they did not notify them of the presence of KIA troops.
The Kachin Independence Army also reportedly attacked a police vehicle carrying a dozen soldiers in the village of Yumar in Hpakant on July 12.
Both attacks took place in territory controlled by the KIA Brigade. KIA Battalion 44, operating under Brigade 9 was the main unit involved in the Hpakant clashes that took place on July 15.