Two civilians killed, six injured by SAC shelling during fighting with KIA in Kutkhai, northern Shan State

Update by the Shan Human Rights Foundation

July 26, 2023

Two civilians killed, six injured by SAC shelling during fighting with KIA in Kutkhai, northern Shan State

Indiscriminate shelling by SAC troops has killed two villagers and injured six others during fighting between SAC and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) troops in Kutkhai township, northern Shan State from July 8 to 18, 2023.

Fighting broke out in the evening of July 8, when KIA ambushed about 100 SAC troops from Lashio-based LIB 507 and Hsenwi-based IB 69 along the Mandalay-Muse highway near Hsenwi, northern Shan State.

On July 9, at about 6 pm, even though there was no fighting at the time, SAC troops from IB 123 based at Namphakka fired three shells into Na Phai village in Ooyapoon Kawnglin village tract. One shell landed on a house, injuring two sisters, in their thirties, inside the house. One of the women needed to be hospitalized.

On July 10-11, fighting spread to Man Pein village in Hsenwi and Namphakka village in Kutkhai.

On July 10 at around 10 am, even though there was no fighting in Kutkhai town, the SAC artillery base at Kutkhai fired shells indiscriminately into the town. A shell exploded near a woman from Mong Yu Awn, who was riding a motorbike towards the Kutkhai town market. The shrapnel hit her thigh and she was taken to Kutkhai hospital for medical treatment.

Heavy fighting continued north and south of Namphakka, in Kho Moong village and Phakhart village. On July 16, a SAC shell exploded in a cattle farm in Kho Moong village. The explosion caused a woman in her fifties living near the cattle farm to lose consciousness and die. The shell also killed five cows.

In the afternoon of July 18, heavy fighting occurred near Kho Moong village. SAC troops from LIB 88 based on the nearby Kawng Ya hill fired their shells into Kawng Ya village and Man Pein village. The shells hit two houses in Kawng Ya village and one house in Man Pein village, causing them to catch fire. That evening at around 5 pm, artillery shells fired by Namphakka-based IB 123 landed in Jidaban village, Namphakka village tract, Kutkhai township. Shrapnel hit Daw Khan Nan (age 47), Maung Baransis (age 16), Maung Baransan (age 9), and Mary (age 21). Maung Baransis died while being transported to Kutkhai hospital.

Currently, the residents of Kawng Ya village (about 30 houses) and Man Pein village (about 20 houses), totaling about 220 people, are sheltering in Kho Moong village church.

The SAC troops are encamped in Kawng Ya village.



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