April Report: Civilian Tortured to Death as Burma Army Violence Continues in Karenni and Southern Shan States

1 May 2023

Karenni and Southern Shan States, Burma

On 26 April, FBR teams and resistance fighters discovered the body of a civilian man with clear evidence of torture by attacking Burma Army troops. This is one example of the impunity with which Burma Army soldiers operate on the ground, supported by indiscriminate air attacks on civilians and civilian structures, in their attempt to dominate or devastate all of Burma.

This report is focused on events occurring in April in the areas of southern Shan and Karenni states. Fighting between the Burma Army and the resistance forces continued and the Karenni Ranger team documented over 46 military events, including armed clashes, air strikes, landmine use, and artillery attacks by the Burma Army. Fifteen of these events, including the torture and murder of the man described above, would also be considered human rights abuses. At least 15 civilians were wounded in airstrikes and two civilians were killed. A day-by-day log, as submitted by the Karenni FBR team, is below.

In addition to providing support at the front line for those wounded or in need of evacuation, the Karenni teams in the area provide relief and support to the villagers displaced by the violence; they treat patients at mobile clinics and supply food, school supplies and material for the creation of shelters. In April, Karenni teams treated over 600 patients as well as doing 4 GLC programs for more than a 1000 people.

Burma Army attack causes fire in Daw Ta Ma Gyi. The house above was destroyed.

29 April 2023: At 0928 and again at 1125, the Burma Army used an attack jet to bomb the area near 11 Mile Hill two times, near War Thaw Kho Ywar Haung Village. Two civilians were injured in the attack. One sustained severe injuries to the back, and the other was wounded in the hip. The attack displaced the civilian population in the area and damaged several buildings. 

28 April 2023: At 2300, a Burma Army attack jet bombed a resistance base three times. At 0041 the Burma Army mortared the location seven times. The Demoso People Defense Force (PDF) reported one death and extensive building damage.

26 April 2023: A coalition of resistance forces (Karenni Army, KNDF, PNDF KK, and MoBye PDF B-1007) attacked the Burma Army in the North Salone Monastery. The Burma Army fell back to Taung Mel Thin Village in Pinlaung Township. There was another battle at Taung Mel Thin Bazaar, and the Burma Army countered the attack with snipers, M79 grenade launchers, and 60mm mortars.

26 April 2023: While working to evacuate injured resistance forces, the body of a dead villager was found; he had been tied with ropes, burned, eyes removed, and the final cause of death appears to be a neck laceration. The perpetrator is Burma Army, LIB 248, and LIB 9.

26 April 2023: At 1000, the right wheel of the Karenni Rangers team truck was damaged when it struck a landmine. No injuries were reported. The landmine was planted together with a 60mm mortar. No one was injured, but the truck was damaged. 

25 April 2023: At 1300, the Burma Army used an attack helicopter to bomb Saung Pway Hospital three times. One bomb didn’t explode. Five people were reported injured: four civilians, and one hospital staff member. 

24 April 2023: The Burma Army in Hsa Long (South) was attacked by resistance forces (KA, KNDF, and PDF). The Burma Army responded with mortar fire, and, at 1548, an attack jet bombed the area three times, causing damage to buildings. The Karenni Ranger team evacuated wounded.

24 April 2023: The Burma Army used a jet fighter at 0730 to attack Hsa Long Village South. Resistance forces (KNDF, KA, KNPLF, KNSO, and PDF) attacked the Burma Army position. At 1515, an attack plane bombed the area, and the Burma Army also used mortars.

23 April 2023: The KNDF attacked the Burma Army, Infantry 102, in East Demoso, Hta Ne La Leh Village, Karenni State. The Burma Army responded with mortar attacks.

21 April 2023: The Burma Army fired 120mm mortars into the north side of Sa Lone Village in Pinlaung Township, southern Shan State. The attack injured two people, Pann Khant Zaw, age 20, was severely injured, and Han Zaw Htun, 19 years old, was injured in the right leg.

18 April 2023: From 1530 to 1900, the Burma Army attacked the village of Daw Nye Khu; the KNDF met them to defend the village and a battle ensued. The Karenni Ranger team was in the area to evacuate frontline wounded and provide immediate medical relief to those injured in the battle. The battle killed one person and wounded six. The Burma Army used an attack jet and bombed the area twice (1615 – 1740). The Ranger team also evacuated one IDP woman who had given birth at Luke Hospital to a safe location near Pon Stream. 

FBR medics stabilized and moved a resistance fighter from the frontline to a place where he could receive more definitive care.

16 April 2023: The Burma Army attacked the area around Elephant IDP camp four times with an attack jet. 

16 April 2023: At 1250, the Burma Army shelled the village of Saung Du Lar in West Demoso four times. No one was injured, but the attack damaged schools and homes.

16 April 2023: At 1400, a Burma Army attack jet dropped four bombs very close to Elephant IDP camp in eastern Loikaw. 

Also on 16 April, in east Demoso, the KNDF battled with Burma Army at the top of the mountain near Daw Ta Ma Gyi Village. The attack damaged civilian homes in Daw Ta Ma Gyi and Daw Nye Khu villages; the Burma Army also used an attack jet to hit the area 12 times. 

Karenni Ranger medics evacuate a wounded resistance fighter away from the front line.

16 April 2023: At 1315, the Burma Army shelled the villages of Daw Par Pa and Wan Ngord in Tee Lone Village Tract. Each town was shelled twice. The Ranger team reported damage to civilian infrastructure, homes, and a school. No injuries were reported.

15 April 2023: The KNDF moved to attack Burma Army troops near Daw Ta Ma Gyi Village. The Burma Army moved back to a position behind Daw Nye Khu Mountain. At 1911 the Burma Army mortared the town of Daw Ta Ma Gyi. The attack destroyed several homes. 

15 April 2023: At 1035 the Burma Army, Battalion 53, stationed at Loi Lin Lay base fired three 120mm shells near Nwar Lawoe Village. As a result, U Ngar Rel and his daughter, Maw Dhamya, were injured while escaping to Elephant IDP Camp. Some of U Ngar Rel’s property was damaged, and one chicken got hurt and died.

14 April 2023: The Karenni Ranger team went to Kalogon, a military evacuation camp, and the Han Sikhu Military evacuations camp, and provided 300,000 kyats in financial support for the IDP schools. 

FBR teams provide IDPs with materials to construct or reinforce their existing shelters.

14 April 2023: The Karenni Ranger team conducted a GLC program for IDPs who fled from Daw Nye Khu Village. They were displaced when a significant battle took place near their village. 

12 April 2023: The Karenni Ranger team conducted a GLC and medical clinic for IDPs seeking shelter near Le Ma Ann Khu Ywar Haung Village. The IDPs were displaced two years ago when heavy fighting occurred anddispl aced the villages of  Six Miles, Five Miles, and Ngwe Taung Sel. The medical team treated 108 patients.

11 April 2023: At 1830, the Burma Army, 102 Army Corps, fired four mortars into the village of Hia Po Klo on the eastern side of Demoso. A community building and several homes were destroyed. 

11 April 2023: The Burma Army mortared the village of Sawapathang. The attack injured a 52-year-old man name U Abraham. He sustained injuries to his abdomen and is in critical condition. 

10 April 2023: The Karenni Ranger team provided a medical clinic to IDPs and patients at Hanli Bsk Military Evacuation Camp between Demoso and Pruso. They treated 47 patients. 

7 April 2023: At 0600, the Burma Army Battalion 422 from Moe Bya randomly fired weapons. Two civilians were injured, and a home was destroyed. 

6 April 2023: Karenni Rangers conducted a GLC program in Daw Noe Ku Village for almost 1000 people, including nearly 500 newly-arrived IDPs. They treated 71 patients and gave away 960 GLC shirts. It was great to see new and old and short-course and long-course rangers working together to bless these IDPs. The teams reported a massive water shortage at Daw Nye Ku; villagers must walk for one hour to get water.

Karenni Ranger medics provide the IDPs with medical consultations, prescriptions, and other necessary medical support.

4 April 2023: The Burma Army mortared an unnamed IDP camp. IDP houses were destroyed, but there were no reported injuries. 

5 April 2023: The Burma Army completed four aerial bombings beginning at 2250 and concluding at 2315. They also strafed with a 20mm machine gun five times, firing more than ten rounds. The attack damaged four vehicles, and houses and schools were also damaged. 

4 April 2023: The Burma Army bombed the village of South Sa Lone at 2135. According to the field surveillance and photos, the bomb was suspected to be a 500lb bomb. One home was utterly destroyed, and several other homes’ windows were blown out. No injuries were reported. 

4 April 2023: The KNDF (BO 1, 5, 6, 7, and 9) and KA partnered to confront Burma Army (Column A). There were large amounts of mortar shelling from the Burma Army (Infantry 102 Demoso). At 1509 the Burma Army conducted an airstrike using an attack plane. 

4 April 2023:  The FBR Karenni team provided a medical clinic to refugees in Kong Htu Village. The medical clinic treated 90 patients. They also provided medical supplies to the nurses who have taken on the responsibility of caring for the IDPs in the camp in Kong Htu. 

4 April 2023: The FBR Karenni team brought medical supplies to the Wari Kaw Khu IDP Camp.

3 April 2023: The Karenni Rangers went to La Tain Village Refugee Camp and provided the IDPs with a mobile medical clinic. The team treated over 286 patients. The Ranger team also provided food supplies to the camp. 

3 April 2023: The FBR Karenni team received a report that IDPs on the eastern side of Pekon were having difficulty fleeing Burma Army attacks. The team went to the IDP site and helped transport them from the IDP site to a safer location. 

2 April 2023: At 1130, Burma Army, 422 Battalion, from Moe Bya attacked Similok Village. The attack killed U Than Htay, 59 years old.

2 April 2023: The FBR Karenni team went to Le Toon Village on the east side of Pekon to evacuate and treat a civilian injured by mortar fire from the Burma Army, 422 Battalion. The victim was U Ka Nate, 27 years old; he sustained injuries to his arm and torso. 

30 March 2023: The Pekon team conducted a GLC program in an IDP camp on the eastern side of Moe Bya, Pekon, Shan State, Burma. 

Thank you and God bless,

Free Burma Rangers