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Thousands Displaced By Fighting in Bhamo District

Hostilities between Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Burma Army displaced over 2,000 civilians in Momauk Township, Kachin State.

“The numbers of IDPs (internally displaced persons) keeps increasing every day,” said an official from Kachin Baptist Convention (KBC) Church in Momauk town, Bhamo District, where 700 villagers forced from their homes by the fighting took shelter at the church. For now, the official said the church and some of the civil society organizations (CSOs) are helping them, but warned if they can’t go home quickly other solutions to provide them assistance will be necessary.

Fighting between KIA and Burma Army started on April 15 in the township, according to the KBC official.

Over 400 civilians took refuge at Tanguntai Monastery, more than 500 are at a Catholic Church in Nam Hlaing village, 200 are in Theindawgyi Monastery and there’s a handful at Parahita Monastery.

“Everyone in my village fled to a safe place. With shooting all day and all night, no one dares to stay there,” said an IDP from Myo Thit. When the fighting happened he said they ran away with the clothes on their backs. They need basic food rations, clothing and medicine.

According to a CSO, Burma Army occupied several villages. Airstrikes by the military killed at least five civilians and wounded others. Burma Army is making villagers pay money if their livestock steps on the landmines they planted around their camps.

The other villages affected by the violence are Sihark, Konlaw, Mong Herk, Mong Khat, Minjan, Nawng Kwan, Shwe Myaung, Nam Ngo, Myo Hawng, Tarli and Dawt Hpong Yang.

Fighting is also breaking out in Hukawng Valley and Hpakant Township.

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