Myanmar’s military carries out airstrikes on Karen State town in retaliation for attacks

Myanmar’s military carried out airstrikes on the town of Kyainseikgyi in Karen (Kayin) State last Friday following a series of attacks by anti-regime forces active in the area, according to the Karen National Union (KNU).

The town is within the KNU’s Dooplaya District, which is controlled by Brigade 6 of the KNU armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA).

The KNLA and allied groups attacked a police station and administrative offices in the town before dawn on June 2, reportedly killing around 10 junta soldiers.

By 8:30am, however, the resistance forces were forced to withdraw when Mi-35 attack helicopters arrived and began firing on the town, according to Padoh Saw Liston, the district secretary for KNLA Brigade 6.

“Our troops reported that they attacked local administration offices but later pulled out after the Mi-35s appeared,” he told Myanmar Now.

He said that the airstrikes targeted residential areas near the Zami River and were later followed by indiscriminate shelling.

“They are currently randomly firing heavy artillery shells, so we still don’t know how many were injured or killed. They just keep on attacking, even though our forces have already withdrawn,” he said.

Pro-regime Telegram channels also reported on the incident, claiming that monks and other civilians were among those killed in the initial attacks by the KNLA-led forces.

Late last month, junta shelling damaged a monastery and injured five civilians, including a monk and two novices, in Mon State’s Bilin Township, which is in the KNU’s Thaton District, controlled by KNLA Brigade 1.

In early May, the military reportedly suffered heavy losses due to ambushes targeting junta convoys carrying supplies to troops in Kyainseikgyi Township.

Since then, regime forces have been tearing up roads connecting villages in Kyainseikgyi and Kawkareik townships, forcing tens of thousands of local residents to flee.

A map shows where airstrikes were carried out in Karen State’s Kyainseikgyi Township on June 2

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