Fighting Breaks Out Between KNPP and Tatmadaw in Karenni State

By Network Media Group
Saturday, May 29, 2021

Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) exchanged fire with Burma Army on Thursday, May 27, during the second time the ethnic armed organisation (EAO) fought with the military since the coup happened four months ago.

A KNPP committee member told NMG fighting happened on the Khe Maphyu to Mawchi road, in Hpasaung township, Karenni State. Violence started after a Burma Army soldier stepped on a landmine, he said, and Karenni troops were called in to clear the area. “There were no causalities on our side but I heard some from their side died, however, I don’t have these details.”

The committee member told NMG that Tatmadaw—as Burma Army are called locally—attacked them on May 20 after they provided capacity training for youths arrested when returning from the workshop. Both clashes happened in Hpasaung Township.

Karenni People’s Defense Force (KPDF), a civilian resistance group that started fighting with Tatmadaw a week ago, told NMG the military attacked civilians in Demawso Township with artillery all day Friday, May 28. The KPDF member explained although they didn’t attack the Burma Army, they’re trying to defend against the offensive but can’t go outside because many snipers are waiting to take them out. The resistance member thinks the Tatmadaw is firing artillery from the top of Mya Kalap mountain, located in Loikaw Township. Meanwhile, phone services are compromised in the area.

Some civilians have been killed or injured during the shelling, the member explained. But they couldn’t collect their bodies or treat the injured because of the snipers. Even if they could, they don’t have enough medicine for the wounded. “We are doing our best to provide medical care, but it is difficult. With the intermittent fighting, we can’t march forward or even go out because of snipers shooting at us,” the KPDF member said.

A Free Burma Ranger was killed, and three KPDF fighters were injured while trying to rescue people trapped in Demawso town on May 27. The same day Burma Army shot dead two Karenni youths delivering food to civilians displaced by the fighting in the township.