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Northern Myanmar residents caught up in fighting, dozens hurt

Eight people were critically injured, witnesses said.



By RFA Burmese

May 28, 2024


Credits @FFHR.CZ




Fighting in northern Myanmar trapped 40 people and wounded dozens, witnesses told Radio Free Asia on Monday, as the war between the junta that seized power in 2021 and its enemies trying to end military rule takes an increasing toll of civilians.


The Kachin Independence Army, an ethnic minority rebel group battling the junta in resource-rich Kachin State says it has captured about 100 junta camps, eight towns and a major trade route in recent months.


Last week, the group seized a base in Waingmaw township, about 20 km (12 miles) from the state capital, Myitkyina.


Heavy fighting erupted there late on Sunday as a military convoy was passing, sending residents fleeing any way they could, most in cars and on motorbikes, some of those who fled said.


Twenty-six civilians were wounded by gunfire and shelling, with six men and two women in critical condition, the residents said, adding that about 40 people, many of them migrant workers, were trapped and unable to escape in the chaos.


“Unfortunately they got stuck in the fighting that erupted at the entrance of Waingmaw town,” said one resident who managed to flee. The resident declined to be identified citing safety fears.


“They were suddenly in the middle of a battle and getting injured.”


It was not clear which side’s fire hit the residents, they said.


RFA telephoned Kachin State’s junta spokesperson, Moe Min Thein, and Kachin Independence Army information officer Col. Naw Bu for more information, but neither of them answered the calls.


Most of those wounded in the fighting were men between the ages of 30 and 60, the resident said.


Aid groups sent them to hospital in Waingmaw, but were transferred early on Monday to hospital in Myitkyina, about 20 km (12 miles) to the north, relief workers told RFA. 


Limited telecommunications have made it difficult for aid workers to confirm the identities of the injured and to assess safety, they said.  


Seven residents of Waingmaw were killed and 22 wounded in fighting between Tuesday and Saturday last week.. 



Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Kiana Duncan and Mike Firn. 




Source: rfa.org

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