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Junta jet attack kills man in Myanmar’s Kayah state

A junta plane attacked two villages in Myanmar’s eastern Kayah state Friday morning, killing a man and injuring two children, locals told RFA.

The aircraft first strafed Li Khu Pa Yar village in Hpruso township around midnight Thursday before returning to drop bombs on Li Khu Pa Yar and Do Yaw villages before dawn on Friday.

“Li Khu Pa Yar and Do Yaw village are not close so, when Li Khu Pa Yar was fired on from the air at midnight, people in Do Yaw village did not flee as they thought the shooting would not reach their village,” said a local who didn’t want to be named for security reasons.

“But both Li Khu Pa Yar and Do Yaw villages were bombed from the air at 4 p.m. Some people were sleeping so they didn’t flee.”

The local said the man who died was in his forties but didn’t give the ages of the children. He said five houses in Do Yaw were destroyed by the bombing.

Executive Director of the Karenni Human Rights Group, Banyar – who goes by a single name – confirmed the death and injuries and said the details are still being investigated.

Li Khu Pa Yar and Do Yaw are small villages with fewer than 50 houses in a state with a low population compared with the rest of Myanmar.

Locals said the junta attacked by air because road transport is difficult in Hpruso township.

Although the Karenni Defense Forces are active in Kayah state, residents told RFA they had no idea why the junta targeted their villages. Many have now taken refuge in the nearby jungle.

RFA called Kaya state’s junta spokesperson Aung Win Oo Friday but nobody answered.

According to a June 1 statement by the Progressive Karenni People’s Force there have been 699 battles in three townships in Kayah and neighboring Shan states since the Feb. 1, 2021 coup and the junta has carried out 463 airstrikes.

The ethnic armed group said 462 people were killed in Kayah state due to fighting over that period and 15 died in airstrikes.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Mike Firn.