According to a report by Myanmar Now, artillery shells were fired at Hkum Tsai Zup and Gaw Lu Yang villages in the Hpakant township in Myanmar by the Junta’s armed forces stationed in Nam Ya on Monday afternoon at around 1 pm. According to volunteers aiding the internally displaced persons (IDPs), one of the shells exploded near Hkum Tsai Zup’s church while another hit an area near Gaw Lu Yang.

As per the report, more than 200 locals were forced to flee from their homes after the military shelling and had to run to the nearby village of Seng Hpra for refuge. This was the second time the villagers had to flee within a week after a military shelling on July 15, which left six injured. The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) had ambushed the military forces near Gaw Lu Yang on July 15 and 16.

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La Htoi, leader of the IDP support committee based in Hpakant, while taking to Myanmar Now said, “There was no battle, but the military stationed in Nam Ya fired the shells. We don’t know the reason for sure yet. Maybe they’re trying to clear the area.”

“At the time of reporting, around 200 people from the villages of Tada Nyi Naung, Gaw Lu Yang and Hkum Tsai Zup were staying in Seng Hpra’s church, the children’s development centre and in the homes of relatives. There are some supplies that have been donated by the congregation. Some villages donated a couple sacks of rice too. That’s what we’ve been living on.” added La Htoi.

The military ordered a meeting with the local administrators on Hpakant on Monday morning and threatened to launch artillery strikes on their villages if they did not inform them of the presence of KIA troops.

The Kachin Independence Army also reportedly attacked a police vehicle carrying around ten troops in Yumar village in Hpakant on July 12.

Both attacks took place in the territory controlled by KIA’s Brigade 9. KIA Battalion 44, operating under Brigade 9 was the main unit involved in the Hpakant clashes that took place on July 15.

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