Two Women Killed, Eight Injured in Myanmar Military Airstrike on Karen-Controlled Area

Myanmar military's aerial bombing kills 2 civilians, injures 8 in Bago Region, highlighting ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in the country.

Trim Correspondents
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Two Women Killed, Eight Injured in Myanmar Military Airstrike on Karen-Controlled Area

Two Women Killed, Eight Injured in Myanmar Military Airstrike on Karen-Controlled Area

On February 13, 2023, an aerial bombing by the Myanmar military killed two women and injured eight others in the Shwekyin area of Bago Region. The attack focused on territory controlled by Brigade 3 of the Karen National Union (KNU), an ethnic armed group that has been fighting for greater autonomy.

The incident highlights the ongoing conflict and violence in Myanmar, where civilians, junta troops, and rebel forces are all struggling to access medical care and basic resources like clean water and food. The military has increasingly relied on airstrikes to support its ground troops, leading to further displacement and suffering among local populations.

Why this matters: The deadly airstrike is the latest example of how Myanmar's military continues to focus on ethnic minority areas with impunity, over two years after seizing power in a coup. The escalating violence has worsened a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands displaced and in urgent need of aid.

The attack comes amid a broader military offensive in Karen State, where the KNU and its armed wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), have been fighting alongside anti-junta People's Defense Force (PDF) units. In recent weeks, the military has conducted drone attacks using chemical weapons against these resistance forces, forcing them to retreat.

On April 11, the KNLA and PDF seized a military base in the strategic border town of Myawaddy, prompting the regime to launch a counter-offensive to retake the area. The KNU said it withdrew from some of its positions to avoid further civilian casualties. Meanwhile, a Karen Border Guard Force allied with the military, now calling itself the Karen National Army, helped the junta recapture the base.

The escalation in fighting has coincided with new media restrictions imposed by the KNU and the Karenni State Interim Executive Council, which now require journalists to register and obtain permissions to report from their territories. The measures reflect the sensitivities and challenges of reporting on Myanmar's complex conflict, where access and safety remain major concerns.

The Shwekyin airstrike is a tragic reminder of the heavy toll Myanmar's conflict continues to inflict on civilians, particularly in ethnic areas that have long faced discrimination and violence. "We are struggling to survive day by day amid a lack of food and clean water," said one local resident displaced by the fighting. "The military's airstrikes have made the situation even worse, and we don't know when we will be able to return home."

Key Takeaways

  • Myanmar military airstrike killed 2 women, injured 8 in Bago Region on Feb 13, 2023.
  • Ongoing conflict in Myanmar has worsened humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands displaced.
  • Military offensive in Karen State, with KNLA and PDF forces fighting junta troops.
  • New media restrictions imposed by KNU and Karenni State Interim Executive Council.
  • Civilians struggle to access basic resources like food and water amid the conflict.