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Six-day battle in central Myanmar kills 7 civilians

Ongoing junta shelling across central Myanmar has killed seven civilians as of Monday, locals told Radio Free Asia. 

Battles began last Wednesday when anti-junta forces in China state attacked the junta troops in the state’s Tedim township, in Khaikam city near the border with Kale township.

Kale township of Sagaing region has been the site of other junta attacks in the last few months. On Wednesday, a drone crash, perceived by locals to be an accident, injured 13 children when the drone’s explosives detonated over a village monastery. 

In September, four family members died when a junta shell exploded on their home in the township. 

A Kale resident who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons told RFA Monday that seven people were killed by heavy artillery in other neighborhoods of Kale city, the capital of Kale township, but the whereabouts of the other six have not been identified yet, as the fighting is ongoing.

“One was killed and one was injured on Feb. 25. Now people in Sin Ywar neighborhood have also fled to safety,” said the resident. “Many homes were damaged due to the military junta’s shelling and many people were injured.”

All the victims were from Kale city, the resident added. The extent of civilian and soldier injuries is still unknown at this time.

Roughly 5,000 residents of Kale city have fled to safety, according to aid workers assisting internally displaced people. 

Kale city became the first to resist the February 2021 military coup in May, with civilians arming themselves with age-old Tumee rifles. This mobilization came in the wake of one of the deadliest single-day massacres, with junta troops killing 110 people across the nation on March 27, 2021.

According to Myanmar’s 2019 General Administration Department statistics, Kale township is home to more than 340,000, of whom almost half are ethnic Chins.

Translated by RFA Burmese. Edited by Taejun Kang.