Pre-dawn airstrikes kill girl, injure four elderly villagers, in Bawlakhe Township

A 17-year-old girl was killed and four elderly villagers were injured when Myanmar’s military carried out airstrikes on a village in Karenni (Kayah) State’s Bawlakhe Township on Wednesday.

The attack took place at around 4:20am and targeted the village of Saw Lon, the information officer for Battalion 1105 of the Bawlakhe People’s Defence Force (PDF) told Myanmar Now.

“They dropped two bombs. We’re not sure if there was just one jet or two, as it was dark and everyone was fleeing to the woods for safety,” the information officer said.

He added that there was no apparent reason for the assault, as there had been no recent clashes or other incidents in the area. 

The attack also destroyed six houses and two buildings at the village clinic and damaged a monastery, according to the information officer. Several cows and other livestock were also killed, he added.

Saw Lon is a small village of around 50 households located west of the Salween (Thanlwin) River about 10km northeast of Bawlakhe Township’s administrative centre.

This is the third junta attack in the township since last month. In April, the regime carried out airstrikes targeting the village of Haw Hai, near Saw Lon, and a lumber mill east of the Salween, according to local sources. No casualties were reported in those attacks.

Last week, on May 9, junta forces launched assaults on 12 Miles Hill and Want Ma Lan, a village east of the town of Bawlakhe. 

The anti-regime Karenni Nationalities Defence Force and Karenni Army later ambushed the troops responsible for the attacks, killing five, according to resistance sources.

A few days earlier, the Bawlakhe PDF attacked a junta column coming from Tadathit, a village located on the eastern bank of the Pun Creek, which flows through Bawlakhe Township.

Myanmar’s military has a tactical base in Bawlakhe, as well as several logistics bases. Troops from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB)  430, LIB 429 and LIB 437 are stationed in the township.

According to the Bawlakhe PDF information officer, there have also been reports of reinforcements from LIB 515 arriving in the township.

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